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March 28: Carnegie Mellon Receives $4.15 Million in Grants From the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation


Ken Walters                           

Carnegie Mellon Receives $4.15 Million in Grants
From the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Grants Will Fund Energy and Sustainability Research, Equipment Needs

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University has received two grants totaling $4.15 million from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The grants will be used to fund research in global energy and sustainability and to purchase equipment needed to aid research in the fields of nanotechnology, cosmology and biological sciences.
The first grant of $2.05 million is dedicated to accelerating the university's work in global energy issues, providing support for graduate students to work with faculty on key projects and for the acquisition of research instruments. Part of that grant will support the recently announced consortium of Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University to conduct fossil fuel energy research.
The consortium, funded by the National Energy Technology Lab (NETL), will work to develop clean and efficient technologies for the use of fossil fuels. More than 75 scientists — with student researchers — at the three universities will work with more than 150 NETL scientists and researchers to address key areas of fossil fuel research.
The remainder of the energy research grant will be used by Carnegie Mellon's Department of Engineering and Public Policy to study policy issues related to sustainable energy technologies and climate change.
"This generous grant comes at an important time as we press further into vital research areas involving sustainable, secure energy and the issue of climate change," said Carnegie Mellon President Jared Cohon.
According to David Kingsbury, chief program officer for the Foundation's Science Program, "Sustainable energy is a global issue. We are pleased to partner with and provide first time funding to Carnegie Mellon University to conduct research in this vital area. The development of provocative, transformative scientific research is at the heart of the Foundation's Science Program; the work Carnegie Mellon is doing is a natural fit with our programmatic goals. Providing the university with funds for the needed equipment will also help promote collaboration across scientific fields," Kingsbury added.
The second grant dedicates $2.1 million to meet some of Carnegie Mellon's most important equipment needs, including:

  • A fast computing cluster, which will aid university cosmologists by providing rapid, complex simulations to understand how quasars and other cosmic structures were formed in the universe. The cluster will also be used by computer graphics and animation researchers in the School of Computer Science;
  • A state-of-the-art electron microscope, which will be used to aid the university in making innovative advances in nanotechnology. Carnegie Mellon's Center for Nano-enabled Device and Energy Technologies has conducted recent studies on nano-enabled fuel cells and solar energy;
  • A highly advanced correlation microscope to measure molecular dynamics in real time, both in living cells and biological tissues. The instrument will enhance collaborations between biologists, bioorganic chemists, biomedical engineers and computational biologists, allowing them to apply new optical methods to biological problems.

"This grant helps to meet some of our most pressing equipment needs in several fields," Cohon said. "It will significantly enhance our research capabilities while fostering interdisciplinary collaborations across the university."