University of Idaho announces new funding program, names first recipients

Seven projects have been awarded funding through the new UI-CAES Seed Funding Program that began in February. The program provides up to $10K to University of Idaho-led projects with the potential to garner additional, external funding. Its funding comes from the UI Office of Research and Economic Development, where 25% of Facilities & Administration (F&A) funds from sponsored projects are returned to UI research institutes, including UI-CAES, to incentivize competitive research awards. In launching the program, CAES Associate Director for UI John Russell said its priorities are to:
• Support novel, energy-related research, aligned with CAES focus areas
• Support innovative outreach activities focused on energy-related issues
• Provide seed funding for subsequent research proposal development
• Fund graduate student (principally PhD student) energy research
• Support pre-tenure faculty
• Enhance collaboration with CAES institutions

The following awards were announced in late February:

  • Assistant Professor Amin Mirkouei’s proposal, Collaborative Research: CyberTraining: Implementation: Medium: CyberTraining of Construction (CyCon) Research Workforce Through an Educational and Community Engagement Platform, received a $10K seed grant.
  • Professor Indrajit Charit’s project, Microstructural and Nanomechanical Characterization of Ion Irradiated Molybdenum Based Materials Joined via Pressure Resistance Welding, received a seed grant of $9,999.Professor Krishnan Raja’s proposal, Additive Manufacturing of Self-healing and Irradiation Resistant Components by High Pressure Cold Spray Technology, was awarded a $10K seed grant.
  • Assistant Professor Min Xian received a $10K seed grant for his proposal, Building Capabilities in Uncertainty Quantification (UQ) for Computational Models in Nuclear Materials Characterization.
  • Xian also was awarded a $4K micro grant for Summer Projects on AI-Enhanced Materials Characterization for Recruiting Graduate Students.
  • Assistant Professor Aleksandar Vakanski’s project, Active Learning Method for Predicting Creep-Fatigue Behavior of Nuclear Structural Materials, was awarded a $10K seed grant.
  • Associate Professor Haiyan Zhao’s proposal, Enhancing Advanced Materials and Chemistry Characterization via Acquisition of Mass Spectrometer, received a $10K seed grant.