New $15.5 Million Research Center Will Focus on Cybersecurity of
Nation’s Power Grid
University of Arkansas engineering researchers, focused on solid-state solutions to upgrade the U.S. power grid, will lead a new national center devoted to cybersecurity for electric power utilities. The center is made possible by a $12.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, augmented by $3.3 million in matching funds from the research partners.
“We’re proud to be recognized as a national leader in the area of power electronics research and security,” said Alan Mantooth, Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering. “The impact of this work is tremendous. All too frequently we are hearing of how foreign entities are hacking into U.S. computer systems. This center’s mission is directly focused on protecting America’s electric energy delivery system, and we are pleased to have a great team with which to approach these challenges.”
As principal investigator and director of the new center, Mantooth will lead a team of researchers who will identify and develop solutions for vulnerabilities across the U.S. power grid. Their goal is to protect hardware assets, make systems less susceptible to cyberattack and provide reliable delivery of electricity if such an attack were to occur.
National Institutes of Health Grant Will Advance Study of Chronic
Kyle Quinn, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, uses multi-photon microscopy to create 3-D, micro-scale images of chronic wounds to measure different wound properties. The images reveal the metabolism and structure of skin layers and wound regions so that physicians can diagnose chronic wounds and determine appropriate treatment.
Chronic, non-healing wounds are caused by poor circulation, neuropathy, immobility and other factors. They affect millions of Americans and require advanced care with annual costs in billions of dollars. Infection is often a problem, and mortality rates for people with chronic wounds can exceed that of many cancers. Clinicians struggle because there are not optimal methods to diagnose a wound or evaluate appropriate therapeutic interventions.
With multi-photon microscopy, Quinn can exploit the intrinsic fluorescence of NADH and FAD, two cellular metabolic cofactors found in chronic wounds. These cofactors are necessary for most metabolic pathways. Multi-photon microscopy allows Quinn to build images of wound sections so he and others can detect and assess metabolic changes.
Arkansas PROMISE Project Receives Additional $3.3 Million in Federal
PROMISE is an acronym for “Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income.” In September 2013, the U.S. Department of Education awarded the initial five-year grant of $32.4 million to the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Department of Education to fund the Arkansas PROMISE project.
The award is believed to be the largest research grant received in University of Arkansas history.
The goal of the PROMISE project is to improve the career and education outcomes of low-income teenagers with disabilities. Last summer, 278 Arkansas youth worked a total of 44,817 hours, Arkansas PROMISE reported. A total of 324 employers participated at 202 unique worksites in 55 cities and 25 counties.
Physicists to Use DARPA Grant to Study Materials Considered Key to
Researchers at the University of Arkansas will use a $374,621 federal
grant to investigate fundamental properties of materials that are
considered key to advances in energy generation, storage and