Auburn University research projects among recipients of $2.57 million state award

Published: December 02, 2020
Updated: December 07, 2020
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Two Auburn University research projects are among the recipients of a $2.57 million award by the Alabama governor’s office to five of the state’s research institutions, Gov. Kay Ivey announced recently.

Brian Via and Beatriz Erramuspe, director and research fellow, respectively, of the Forest Products Development Center in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, were awarded $247,142 to research development of a paper-based device for a cost-effective method to detect dangerous formaldehyde emissions in wood panels.

Sabit Adanur, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, was awarded $75,374 to conduct research relating to the design, fabrication and testing of novel medical face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 or future contagious viruses.

The grants are from the Alabama Research and Development Enhancement Fund, or ARDEF, a state-funded program created in 2019 under the Alabama Innovation Act and administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, or ADECA.

The funding provides support and encourages new and continuing research that will result in products and services to improve the lives of Alabamians either from the products themselves or from new job opportunities.

“This funding from the Alabama Research and Development Enhancement Fund will help Auburn researchers continue to solve real-world problems through discovery and innovation,” said James Weyhenmeyer, Auburn’s vice president for research and economic development.

“The research being performed at our universities and institutions offers strong evidence that innovation is alive and well in Alabama," Ivey said when making the announcement. “These grants will help provide the needed resources to bring even more ideas and research to light, eventually resulting in new products and new job opportunities.”

Other institutions named in the award announcement include the Basham Institute of Science in Dadeville, Alabama, and various campuses of the University of Alabama. This is the second round of ARDEF funds awarded in this program in 2020.

Ivey earlier this year awarded $2.27 million in grants to state research institutions and programs. Three Auburn research projects were recipients in that earlier announcement.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.