Professor receives grant for summer program

Cydney Long

The National Science Foundation awarded Georgia Southern University professor Valentin Soloiu, Ph.D., a $360,000 Research for Undergraduates grant, according to a news release.

Soloiu, the Allen E. Paulson Chair of Renewable Energy, will head a program that will start next summer and research energy problems.

“This puts us in an extraordinary position to reach out to undergraduate engineering students nationally and help boost their interest in research with hands-on learning,” Soloiu said in the news release. “The program that I have designed will allow students to perform research on our campus, and they will work on formulating new biofuels, hybrid combustion technologies, renewable energy, automotive engineering and many other areas.”

Historically Black Colleges and Universities will help GSU select students to participate in the program.

Every summer for the next three years, 10 students will spend 10 weeks on campus in the Renewable Energy and Engines Lab researching engineering careers, according to the news release.

The program, “Undergraduate Research in Green-Engineered New Transportation Technologies (URGENTT),” will incorporate hands-on learning with problem-solving skills to expand understanding of interdisciplinary concepts.

Eight GSU faculty from the College of Engineering and Information Technology, the College of Science and Technology and the Center for Teaching, Learning and Scholarship will contribute to the program, according to the news release. The department of English will assist students with written reports and oral presentations.

“We want to do everything we can to prepare the next generation of scientific leaders,” Soloiu said in the news release. “I expect this grant will continue to elevate us to a national level and generate a lot of interest in what we have to offer at Georgia Southern. Maybe these undergraduates who spend their summers with us will return to our campus and pursue master’s degrees.”