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'Human capital,' 'big data' among topics receiving ‘E Funding’

By SUE WUETCHER

Published May 2, 2013

“The range of imaginative ideas contained in these proposals speaks to the aspirations of our campus.”
Provost Charles Zukoski

Ten proposals from across the university examining such topics as “human capital,” “big data” and economic justice have been awarded funding for 2012-13 from the “E Fund,” a competitive program created by President Satish K. Tripathi to spur collaborative initiatives that will expand the institution’s impact and enhance the student educational experience.

The E Fund—“E” stands for excellence—is supported by new revenue generated from NYSUNY 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s historic higher education bill.

The 10 projects that are being funded emerged from a pool of 27 submissions from faculty representing a variety of disciplines and programs. The proposals first were assessed by a committee of 12 senior faculty members; Provost Charles Zukoski then evaluated the proposals before reviewing them with Tripathi. Zukoski and Tripathi together made the final decision on which projects to fund.

The funded projects range from an innovative degree program and supporting research center in computational and data-enabled sciences and engineering, to scholarly and instructional activities concerning “human capital,” to an examination of best practices and innovations in veterans care.

“The range of imaginative ideas contained in these proposals speaks to the aspirations of our campus,” Zukoski said in an email to the campus community. “Implementation of these proposals, enabled by the E funding mechanisms, will enhance the excellence that is UB.”

These funded initiatives are projected to lead to the hiring of 44 new faculty and 10 staff members, with an anticipated growth in sponsored research by as much as $20 million per year within five years, Zukoski said.

“This represents a commitment to grow excellence in research, education and engagement, and builds on the promised NYSUNY 2020 funding,” he said. “At full implementation, we anticipate spending $7.6 million per year to support these initiatives from a combination of central and unit funds.”

The 10 projects receiving funding in the second round of the five-year program are:

  • A Human Capital Agenda for Educational and Economic Development. Project lead: Isaac Ehrlich, Economics.
  • Built Environment, Health Behavior and Health Outcomes. Project leads: Jim Lenker, Rehabilitation Sciences; Gary Giovino, Community Health and Health Behavior; Samina Raja, Urban and Regional Planning; Edward Steinfeld, Architecture; Ernest Sternberg, Urban and Regional Planning.
  • Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness (CLOE). Project lead: Paul Tesluk, Organization and Human Resources.
  • Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (CDSE). Project leads: Venu Govindaraju, Computer Science and Engineering; Abani Patra, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Gino Biondini, Mathematics; Vipin Chaudhary, Computer Science and Engineering.
  • Economic Justice Studies Project. Project lead: Martha McCluskey, Law.
  • Institute for Bridge Engineering. Project leads: George Lee and Andrew Whittaker, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering.
  • Institute for Sustainable Transportation & Logistics (ISTL). Project leads: Adel Sadek, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering; Mark Karwan, Industrial and Systems Engineering; Tefvik Kosar, Computer Science and Engineering; Chunming Qiao, Computer Science and Engineering; Charles Wang, Operations and Management Strategy; Natalie Simpson, Operations and Management Strategy; Nallan Suresh, Operations and Management Strategy.
  • Joining Forces: The UB Partnership for Excellence in Veteran Care. Project leads: Deborah Finnell, Nursing; Lisa Butler, School of Social Work.
  • UB Center for Home Health and Well-Being through Adaptive Smart Environments (Home-BASE). Project leads: Victor Paquet, Industrial and Systems Engineering; Ann Bisantz, Industrial and Systems Engineering; Albert Titus, Biomedical Engineering; James Lenker, Rehabilitation Sciences; Venu Govindaraju, Computer Science and Engineering; Mary Carey, Nursing; Edward Steinfeld, Architecture.
  • Strategic Enhancement of Educational Diversity (iSEED). Project leads: Margarita L. Dubocovich, Pharmacology and Toxicology; Luis Colon, Chemistry.

For more details about the individual projects, visit the Office of the Provost’s website.