2023 Catalyst Award Teams 

The Office of the Chancellor and the Office of Research and Economic Development have committed up to $40 million over four years to invest in the Grand Challenges initiative. Three projects totaling $10 million were funded in the second year. The project aligns with the university’s N2025 aims to increase the impact of research and creative activity, and to foster interdisciplinary endeavors. 

Quantum Approaches Addressing Global Threats

Christian Binek (PI), physics and astronomy, Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience, Nebraska Nanoscale Facility and NSF-EPSCoR Emergent Quantum Materials and Technologies (EQUATE)

Susan Hermiller (PI), mathematics

Shireen Adenwalla, physics and astronomy

Wei Bao, electrical and computer engineering

Kirill Belashchenko, physics and astronomy

Florin Bobaru, mechanical and materials engineering

Tami Brown-Brandl, biological systems engineering

Peter Dowben, physics and astronomy

Yufeng Ge, biological systems engineering

Yinsheng Guo, chemistry

Alexei Gruverman, physics and astronomy

Xia Hong, physics and astronomy

Alexey Kovalev, physics and astronomy

Abdelghani Laraoui, mechanical and materials engineering

Tom Larson, Glenn Korff School of Music

Joe Luck, biological systems engineering; Nebraska Extension

Alexandra Seceleanu, mathematics

Robert Streubel, physics and astronomy

Evgeny Tsymbal, physics and astronomy

Vinodchandran Variyam, computing

Bryan Wang, advertising and public relations

Xiaoshan Xu, physics and astronomy

Inspiring Outcomes for Children through Equitable Early Childhood Education Experiences (E4)

Lisa Knoche (PI), Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools

Susan Sheridan (co-PI), CYFS

Holly Hatton-Bowers (co-PI), child, youth and family studies; Nebraska Extension

Carrie Clark, educational psychology

Jenna Finch, psychology

Nkenge Friday, Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Jemalyn Griffin, advertising and public relations

Kelli Hauptman, Center on Children, Families, and the Law

Soo-Young Hong, child, youth and family studies

Natalie Koziol, CYFS

Jennifer Leeper Miller, child, youth and family studies; Ruth Staples Child Development Lab

Jennifer PeeksMease, Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Rachel Schachter, child, youth and family studies

Julia Torquati, child, youth and family studies

Changmin Yan, advertising and public relations

HyeonJin Yoon, CYFS

In-kind Support

Kathleen Gallagher, Buffett Early Childhood Institute

Susan Sarver, Buffett Early Childhood Institute

Release of Micro- and Nanoplastics from Plastic Food Containers–Characterization, Risk Assessment, Socioeconomic and Health Impacts

Yusong Li (PI), civil and environmental engineering

Dipti Dev, child, youth and family studies; Nebraska Extension

Lucía Fernández-Ballester, mechanical and materials engineering

Seulki Kim, sociology

Yongfeng Lu, electrical and computer engineering

Bing Wang, food science and technology

Changmin Yan, advertising and public relations

External Collaborator

Svetlana Romanova, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Advisory Panel

Greg Welch, Buffett Early Childhood Institute

Margaret Pandis, Conagra Brands

Justin (Gus) Hurwitz, University of Pennsylvania