UNI students and faculty perform cutting edge research

National Science Foundation logoThe University of Northern Iowa recently received two National Science Foundation (NSF) awards for cutting edge research. The first is a $750,000 grant to examine sustainable development in the Arctic. The project, run by Andrey Petrov, assistant professor in the Department of Geography, is based at the Arctic Social and Environmental Systems Research (ARCSES) Laboratory in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

As the leader of the project, UNI will serve as the national focal center of sustainability science research in the Arctic for the next five years, with the goal of improving health, human development and the well-being of Arctic communities.

The second NSF grant was awarded to a team of physics professors at UNI to perform new experiments on materials at temperatures within 10 degrees Fahrenheit of absolute zero, the lowest temperature that can be achieved. The $105,000 grant will be used to purchase a new low-temperature system to work alongside current equipment in the laboratory of Rui He, principal investigator and assistant professor of physics at UNI. Other members of the team include Paul Shand and Tim Kidd.

"This equipment will significantly enhance and broaden our research capability. It will provide our undergraduate students with hands-on experience in low-temperature optical experiments and with world-class opportunities in scientific research," said He.

With the recent grant, UNI physics faculty members have secured more than $740,000 in competitive grants from the National Science Foundation since 2009.

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STEM Day at the Capitol from 10 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Feb. 13, in the first floor Rotunda. See an array of STEM programs, ranging from the Girl Scouts and 4-H to the Iowa Academy of Science and K through 12 schools.