House Sub Committee Approves $1 Million in Funding for RIT Microsystems Research
Reps. Kuhl and Walsh secure funds for RIT
July 18, 2007
by Susan Gawlowicz
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Rochester Institute of Technology’s NanoPower Research Laboratories is slated to receive $1 million in congressional support for its Integrated Power for Microsystems initiative thanks to the effort of U.S. Representatives John R. “Randy” Kuhl Jr. and James T. Walsh. The congressmen secured the funding in the form of an earmark in the House Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, which passed the House this week.
“Rochester Institute of Technology’s research on nanopower is groundbreaking,” says Kuhl. “This new initiative, Integrated Power for Microsystems, will go a long way in powering sensors and other microsystems which can be used in homeland security, intelligence, energy and defense. I know RIT is up to this challenge and I look forward to seeing more about the results of this research.”
“This funding will further RIT’s position as a national research leader in nanopower and Microsystems,” says Walsh, ranking Republican member of the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee on Appropriations and co-sponsor of the bill. “The research advanced not only has national implications but will boost industry innovations within upstate New York companies.”
The Integrated Power for Microsystems initiative at RIT will build on the university’s unique capabilities in nanopower technology to address a critical national challenge—the ability to effectively and efficiently power the next generation of autonomous microsystems.
The nanopower lab at RIT is designed to address future energy and power needs through nanomaterials and nanotechnological approaches to energy conversion, energy storage and power systems development. Scientists at RIT have been working with issues related to power conversion and storage using new materials such as carbon nanotubes and quantum dots. This new program will leverage the existing work taking place at RIT and apply these materials to the challenges associated with powering autonomous microsystems.
“This announcement is a wonderful validation of the vision that RIT demonstrated in the creation of the NanoPower Labs at RIT,” says Ryne Raffaelle, director of RIT’s NanoPower Research Laboratories. “It is also a testament to the fine work of the men and women who have developed the capabilities and reputation that have provided this opportunity; and that is exactly how we view this as an opportunity. This support will allow us and our corporate partners in upstate New York to hopefully make a real difference in how we generate and store energy, and how we can power the next-generation of medical and security-related microsystem devices.”
“Dr. Raffaelle’s research to enhance the performance of energy conversion and storage devices through the development of nanomaterials is an outstanding example of university-based innovation that can stimulate economic growth,” says RIT President Bill Destler. “What is particularly significant about this project, in addition to its timely and very important impact on issues such as defense, homeland security and nation’s energy independence, is the opportunity that it will afford local technology firms to partner with our NanoPower Research Labs in prototyping new products for a rapidly growing emerging market. This research program will further strengthen the region’s assets and reputation as a center for alternative energy technologies. We are very appreciative of the efforts of Congressmen Kuhl and Walsh and their confidence in RIT’s capabilities in this area.”
RIT will partner with regional companies to prototype and pilot new devices using micropower systems.
Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized for academic leadership in computing, engineering, imaging technology, and fine and applied arts, in addition to unparalleled support services for students with hearing loss. More than 15,500 full- and part-time students are enrolled in RIT’s 340 career-oriented and professional programs, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.