WSU Research Highlights
WSU leads 350 universities nationwide in USDA research and development funding. In 2016 (most recent figures available), WSU researchers from VCEA, CAHNRS, CVM, and other colleges expended $42.8 mill
ion from USDA. This figure marks the largest expenditure by WSU researchers since 1992, when data was first collected. Projects include the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance, which is developing bio-based alternatives to petroleum-based jet fuels.
The USDOE and WSU are expanding their long history of collaboration and creating three joint institutes: Nuclear Science and Technology Institute, Advanced Grid Institute, and Bioproducts Institute. All of them will accelerate scientific and technological progress toward solutions that neither partner could address alone or easily.
Andrei Smertenko in the Institute of Biological Chemistry has been awarded a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) grant. This five-year, $1 million project supports both research and teaching. Dr. Smertenko studies cellular architecture in plants with the goal of growing renewable resources faster. He will also partner with Lewis-Clark State College and Walla Walla Community College to provide training to high school and undergraduate students in his lab.
Terence Saldana in the Carson College of Business, Management Information Systems recently led a study of the impact of green IT investment and implementation on the energy conservation efforts and profits of several companies. Dr. Saldanha and his collaborators found that IT investments can achieve both profit and energy efficiency. Environmental sustainability concerns and customer demand both contribute to corporate efforts.
Two professors from Civil and Environmental Engineering are solving stormwater run-off challenges by developing permeable pavement. Karl Englund and Somayeh Nassiri added waste carbon fiber composite material to increase the durability and strength of their pervious concrete mix. The new product drains quickly and is as strong as traditional concrete. The next step for Drs. Englund and Nassiri is to make the product mainstream and widespread.