Funding fueling SAU Science excellence

SAU’s College of Science and Engineering has been the recipient of generous endowments, grants, and other contributions over the past year.

Albemarle and the Albemarle Foundation-Magnolia Council have recently committed $100,000 to fund an endowment to benefit SAU’s engineering program. Once fully funded, this endowment will provide annual resources for equipment and technology. These funds are crucial in moving the program forward to ensure that SAU Engineering has the very best resources to train students for today’s ever-changing workplace. Albemarle’s support provides the margin of excellence that makes all the difference to SAU faculty and students.

“Our partnerships with Albemarle are so important, not just for students, but for our entire region,” Dr. Trey Berry, president of SAU, said. “We could not have strong programs in many areas of our campus without Albemarle’s generous and gracious support.”

Each semester, Albemarle engineers speak in SAU classrooms. Students are allowed to tour the plant, and internship and employment opportunities are also provided by Albemarle. The company also sponsors senior design projects, has established an Albemarle Endowed Professorship and guides the Engineering program as a part of the Engineering Advisory Board.

“Albemarle is proud to continue its partnership with SAU and particularly the Department of Engineering,” Jason Bevan, Magnolia plant manager, said.

“Albemarle welcomes the opportunity to support the sustainability of this region’s technical workforce and contribute to such a valuable asset of this community.”

SAU Engineering also received two Aerojet Rocketdyne Foundation grants totaling $15,000 in 2018. These grants will go toward the purchase of engineering equipment, including a six-axis robotic arm.

“Aerojet Rocketdyne has been a great partner,” Bachri said. “They provide resources, internship opportunities for our students and recruit many of our Engineering graduates. We are very proud of our relationship with Aerojet Rocketdyne, and believe we are just at the beginning of a long-term collaboration. The Department of Engineering and Physics is eager to serve Aerojet and produce an able workforce for decades to come.”

College of Science and Engineering Professors have also received research grants, including Dr. Md Karim, Dr. Antoinette Odendaal and Dr. Mahbub Ahmed.
Dr. Md Karim, associate professor of Computer Science, received a $15,000 Data Mining Grant from NASA through the Space Grant Consortium. The research methods to be developed through this grant could have great applications for understanding the massive volumes of extraterrestrial data during space exploration, or any other scenario where a large data set is available. Karim has also worked with students on a project for NASA finding patterns in obfuscated data.

Dr. Antoinette Odendaal, assistant professor of Biology and Chemistry, was awarded a grant and fellowship for research from Arkansas INBRE in the amount of $8,000. Her research will assess the effect of commercial Caralluma fimbriata extract, a weight loss agent, on the freshwater microcrustacean Daphnia magna.
Dr. Mahbub Ahmed, associate professor of Engineering, received a grant from the Gene Haas Foundation in the amount of $2,000 for 2018. The grant will be used to fund student groups participating in manufacturing-based research. “It will be highly beneficial for the participating students to gain experience that will enrich their resumes for future job search and placement as mechanical/manufacturing engineers,” Ahmed said.

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