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Information to enhance your success at UNL | UNL Office of Research | May 2016

Feature Stories 

Spring semester highlights in photos

Meeting with potential research partners, making progress on new initiatives and engaging in professional development were among the semester’s highlights. View the slideshow to see what UNL researchers were up to in spring 2016.

Faculty startup Virtual Incision Corp. joined Nebraska Innovation Campus in January. The company is developing miniaturized robots for abdominal surgical procedures. Virtual Incision is the result of a research partnership between Shane Farritor, Lederer Professor of Engineering, and Dmitry Oleynikov, UNMC professor of surgery.

At the NU FEWS Scoping Workshop, participants wrote down provocative questions to generate creative ways of thinking about research at the nexus of food, energy and water systems. The February event marked the second phase of the campuswide initiative.

Kathie Olsen of ScienceWorks challenged faculty to question their assumptions about what is possible in food, energy and water research at the NU FEWS Scoping Workshop.

A new Science, Engineering and Medicine Initiative between UNL and UNMC was launched at a March 8 faculty retreat. The goal is to strengthen multidisciplinary research and increase competitiveness for federal funding.

Angie Pannier, associate professor of biological systems engineering, presented her research on innovative biomaterials and gene delivery systems at the Science, Engineering and Medicine Initiative retreat in La Vista.

Arati Prabhakar, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, visited campus in March to learn about UNL research strengths and share opportunities to collaborate with DARPA. Prabhakar, right, is pictured with John-Paul Ore and others in the NIMBUS lab.

U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer welcomed Arati Prabhakar, DARPA director, to Nebraska. Prabhakar met with UNL and UNO researchers during her visit.

A delegation from the U.S. Strategic Command visited UNL in April to learn about potential UNL research collaborations. USSTRATCOM leaders toured UNL’s Extreme Laser Light Laboratory, Holland Computing Center, Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior, Nebraska Athletic Performance Lab, Nebraska Transportation Center and Nebraska Innovation Campus. The visit continued the partnership discussions that began when UNL faculty and administrators toured Offutt Air Force Base in January.

Larry Rilett, Keith W. Klaasmeyer Chair in Engineering and Technology, described the SAFER barrier technology developed at UNL, which has improved driver safety by reducing the impact of crashes. His presentation was part of USSTRATCOM’s UNL campus visit.

UNL faculty, staff and students filled the Nebraska Union to attend the Graduate Student Poster Session, a showcase of research and creativity at the spring UNL Research Fair.

Zac Egr, a recent College of Education and Human Sciences graduate, presented his research on parents’ influence on learning at the Undergraduate Poster Session, part of the spring UNL Research Fair.

UNL hosted the University Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP22) meeting at Nebraska Innovation Campus in April. Prem Paul, vice chancellor for research and economic development, received honors for longtime service to UIDP, which encourages collaboration between research institutions and industry.

Andrew Benson, W.W. Marshall Distinguished Professor of Biotechnology, gave the spring Nebraska Lecture, “Guts, Germs and Stainless Steel: Creating Winners and Losers in Food.” Here, Benson discussed how advances in DNA sequencing marked a key opportunity for innovation in UNL’s Department of Food, Science and Technology.

Andy Riess, assistant director of outreach, discussed Fulbright Scholar Program benefits and opportunities at a May faculty workshop. UNL’s Fulbright award recipients also gave tips and discussed their experiences at the workshop hosted by the Office of Research and Economic Development and the Office of the Chancellor.

The NU FEWS Jumpstart event, the initiative’s third phase, gave participants an opportunity to begin turning research questions into project ideas. Pictured are Hamid Sharif-Kashani, Charles J. Vranek Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Josh Herr, assistant professor of plant pathology.

During an icebreaker at the NU FEWS Jumpstart event, participants exchanged blind contour portraits of each other.

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