WKU awarded $460,000 to upgrade research equipment

Photo: Western Kentucky University/www.wku.edu
Photo: Western Kentucky University/www.wku.edu(WKYT)
Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 12:41 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Western Kentucky University will receive $460,000 in federal funding through the Fund to Improve Post Secondary Education (FIPSE) to upgrade instrumentation and equipment in five research centers in the WKU Applied Research and Technology Program (ARTP).

WKU’s funding request, submitted for Community Project Funds by United States Rep. Brett Guthrie, (R-KY), was part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2023.

“We are very excited for the infrastructure opportunity that this federal funding will provide for the WKU ARTP research centers and for our students and faculty who will directly use and benefit from this wonderful new scientific instrumentation,” said Dr. Cathleen Webb, ARTP Director. “We greatly appreciate Congressman Guthrie’s support.”

The central mission of the WKU ARTP is to provide a student-centric research program that builds capacity and workforce development through the support of scientific and service-oriented centers, facilitates the formation of beneficial relationships and partnerships with business, industry, government, and provides educational and professional opportunities for students and faculty with centralized, state-of-the-art instrumentation and modern scientific laboratories.

“We are very excited about this grant as it will help replace some of the old instrumentation and bring in new ones to our centers,” said Dr. Ajay Srivastava, ARTP Associate Director. “These centers engage our students in hands-on research and further the research enterprise at WKU. I must recognize the leadership of Dr. Webb, ARTP Director, in ensuring that request for these funds were gathered from the ARTP centers and submitted for this FIPSE opportunity. Of course, I would be remiss if I did not recognize the efforts of Congressman Guthrie. Overall, this is great news.”

The WKU ARTP will receive the following:

  • $80,000 for a gas chromatography mass spectrometer to be shared by the Advanced Materials Institute and Thermal Analysis Lab (AMI/TAL) and Applied Physics Institute. This is a primary tool used to identify the composition of gases or vaporized materials.
  • $70,000 for an inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES) to be shared by the AMI/TAL, Crawford Hydrology Lab (CHL), and the Center for Human GeoEnvironmental Studies (CHNGES). This piece of equipment enables metals detection in a variety of substrates.
  • $80,000 for a Simultaneous Thermal Analyzer 650 and Thermomechanical Analyzer 450. These instruments are fundamental to the work of the AMI/TAL center.
  • $80,000 for a research grade fluorescence compound microscope for the Biotechnology Center. This equipment will add to WKU’s recognition as a leading institution for training students in microscopy and will serve as a significant draw for future faculty-mentored student research projects.
  • $75,000 for expanding the capabilities of the CHL wet lab to expand student research opportunities with water flow and water quality issues.
  • $75,000 for an Onset Flood Hydroinformatics Telemetry System for CHNGES to improve field measurements in early detection of flood potential, providing unique and innovative student research experiences.

“It’s great to see this investment, which reflects the excellent scholarly work produced by our faculty and the advanced training made available to our students using this research-grade equipment,” said Dr. David Brown, Dean of Ogden College of Science and Engineering.