Engineering Has Second Highest Research Funding Percent Increase at UI

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The College of Engineering enjoyed the second highest percent increase in research funding among the 11 UI colleges for fiscal year 2012. 

The college attracted $30,889,405 in external research funding, a 28 percent increase over the previous year.  The Graduate College had the largest percentage increase at 89 percent.

University of Iowa College of Engineering Researchers

Eight Engineering faculty researchers surpassed the $1 million milestone in attracting research grants and contracts during the year.  They are Larry Weber, Edwin B. Green Chair in Hydraulics, professor of civil and environmental engineering, and director of IIHR--Hydroscience & Engineering, $3,956,128; Karim Abdel-Malek, professor of biomedical engineering and director of the Center for Computer-Aided Design, $2,491,742; Greg Carmichael, Karl Kammermeyer Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, associate dean for graduate studies and research, and co-director of the Center for Computer-Aided Design;  $1,901,821; Fred Stern, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, $1,612,239; P. Barry Butler, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering and UI executive vice president and provost, $1,533,725; Thomas Schnell, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering and director of the Operator Performance Laboratory, $1,299,901; Milan Sonka, professor and departmental executive officer of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging,  $1,269,941; and David Cwiertny, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, $1,013,000.

Overall, the University of Iowa eclipsed $400 million in external funding for research for the fourth consecutive year, continuing a trend of successfully competing for federal and other sources of money despite the end of federal stimulus funds and tight budgets affecting government, the philanthropic and private sectors.

The UI’s total share of external funding for fiscal 2012 was $438 million. Excluding short-term stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act last year and this year, total external funding increased 3.2 percent over fiscal 2011. UI researchers also landed 2,124 grant and contract awards, the most ever when excluding stimulus-funded projects. The fiscal year ended June 30.

The UI sustained its share of funding from its greatest federal source, the National Institutes of Health, and more than doubled its funding from the National Science Foundation, obtaining $17.5 million in fiscal 2012 compared to $8.2 million in fiscal 2011.

Several of the university’s burgeoning “clusters,” interdisciplinary faculty teams that tackle problems fundamental to society and human health, including the aging mind, digital public humanities, genetics, obesity and water sustainability, also competed well for external funding. Faculty researchers in the College of Engineeirng participated actively in several of the clusters.  The university expects more success as leaders of these clusters complete faculty hires, spawning new research grant applications.

Looking ahead, there is a cautionary tale. The ongoing budget stalemate between the White House and Congress may trigger substantial reductions in funding from many federal agencies that could last several years.