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January 17, 2024 | Tom Ballard

U News | Auburn wins largest research contract in its history

The University of Alabama selects a Purdue administrator as its next Vice President for Research and Economic Development.

From Auburn University:

Business Alabama reports that a $50 million contract with the U.S. Army is the largest research contract in Auburn University’s history. It will fund a three-year project designed to help the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center increase its modernization efforts. The grant will be facilitated through Auburn’s Applied Research Institute (AUARI) in Huntsville, AL, relying “extensively” on research expertise from Auburn’s National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence and the Interdisciplinary Center for Advanced Manufacturing Systems.

“Our main objective is to enable the Army to incorporate advanced manufacturing materials and methods into existing and future aviation and missile systems,” said Robert Dowling, AUARI’s Director of Research Development. “To do that, we’ll develop prototype advanced manufacturing processes required to analyze, design, develop, test, integrate and sustain qualified components for existing and future aviation and missile systems. The advanced manufacturing materials we’re considering include alloys, polymers and composites. The methods will include everything from machine learning to material properties characterization.”

From the University of Alabama:

Dr. Bryan W. Boudouris has been named the next Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the institution and will begin his tenure April 1. He comes to the Crimson Tide from Purdue University where he has been serving as the Associate Vice President for Strategic Interdisciplinary Research in the Office of Research. Boudouris also holds the R. Norris and Eleanor Shreve Professor of Chemical Engineering. He served as Program Director in the Division of Materials Research at the National Science Foundation from 2020-2022 as part of an Intergovernmental Personnel Act assignment.

As Purdue’s Associate Vice President, Boudouris helped increase the number and award size of large, interdisciplinary centers that advance the research portfolio of the university while having a translatable impact to the global community. From fiscal year 2022 to the following year, research expenditures increased by around $50 million with greater growth anticipated in the future.

From the University of Cincinnati:

The RDI Entrepreneurship Program at Saint Ursula Academy (SUA) will be offered to juniors and seniors at the Academy beginning in fall 2024. The program will feature “Essentials of Entrepreneurship, a College Credit Plus course taught by a Carl H. Lindner College of Business faculty member on-site at SUA.

Program participants, including those who do not enroll in the entrepreneurship course, will have the opportunity to engage with the University of Cincinnati’s (UC) Center for Entrepreneurship, as well as Lindner co-curricular activities concentrated on uplifting women in business and women in entrepreneurship. Activities include business pitch competitions, venture capital programming, a Lindner Women in Business’ Empowerment Day, and Lindner Summer Institute, as well as access to Lindner and UC alumni, UC Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, and Center for Entrepreneurship student mentors.

SUA’s portion of the program was made possible by a funding gift from locally based RDI Corporation, an IT and contact center provider with close family ties to SUA.

From the University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley):

The AMENA Center for Entrepreneurship and Development has joined forces with World Innovations Network (WIN), a Silicon Valley-based entrepreneurship training firm, to launch an international Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Program focusing on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This collaborative initiative aims to create an interdisciplinary, collaborative, and immersive learning environment through hands-on training and problem-solving techniques. The program will offer participants access to esteemed professors and scientists from UC Berkeley AMENA and accomplished industry experts from Silicon Valley.

From St. John’s University:

The Queens, NY-located University has launched a new Venture and Innovation Center (VIC) to facilitate the development of faculty, staff, student, and community-based businesses and enhance the institution’s already strong entrepreneurial culture.

As described in this news release, the new business-development resource helps bring to life potentially transformative product ideas created by members of the St. John’s community and external partners. The VIC aims to be both a catalyst for inspiration and a tool for helping entrepreneurs needing funding, creative space, start-up guidance, and more.

“In today’s fast-moving world, there is an ever-increasing need for higher education institutions to provide both depth and breadth in their educational offerings,” said James Kinsley, Professor of Management, Entrepreneurship, Consulting, and Operations (MECO) at the University’s Peter J. Tobin College of Business and the VIC’s Inaugural Director. “St. John’s provides a wide range of challenging degree courses, but also wants to foster independence, give its students experiential-learning opportunities, and help them develop universal skills such as problem-solving, project management, communications, and relationship building.”

Among the components of the VIC is a campuswide connections hub that promotes entrepreneurial collaboration across the University’s six schools and colleges, and a business incubator that identifies, manages, and helps to commercialize innovation ideas developed by members of the St. John’s community or its neighborhood partners.

From Duke University:

The Durham, NC-based university is touting the many avenues that Duke faculty and staff have for creative pursuits on campus, whether it involves bringing a personal passion project to life, relieving stress, or honing an innovative idea for work.

Workshops, online courses and state-of-the-art tools through Duke Arts and  the Innovation Co-Lab makerspaces keep the Duke community creating — for free. Co-Lab has locations at the Technology Engagement CenterRubenstein Arts Center, and Lilly Library.

“It’s about getting out of the daily routine, trying something new, tapping into their creative side,” said Anna Wallace, who organizes art workshops for the campus community as the Student Engagement Coordinator at Duke Arts. “Faculty and staff often come in and say, ‘I’m not creative,” or ‘I stopped doing this as a kid.’ This is their chance to tap back into that.”

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