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MCSI awards more than $190,000 in research seed grants to four Pitt faculty

Recipients are in departments of Biological Sciences, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering

PITTSBURGH (March 22, 2016) … The external advisory committee of the University of Pittsburgh’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (MCSI) has awarded four faculty members with research seed grants totaling $190,630 for the 2016/2017 year. The annual program enables faculty to supplement sustainably-focused research with undergraduate, graduate and/or post-doctoral student support.

This year’s recipients include:


  • “Pollination in the city: Designing urban pollinator gardens that are resilient to air pollution.” Tia-Lynn Ashman, Professor of Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biological Sciences.
  • “β- Ga2O3 Nanoelectronics: A Path to a Sustainable Semiconductor Technology for High Efficiency Electricity Conversion from Renewables.” William Stanchina, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering.
  • “Desalination of sequestration and release of water in poly crystals.” Sachin Velankar, Associate Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering.
  • “A novel process for efficient, decentralized ammonia synthesis: towards fertilizer production with drastically reduced environmental footprint.” Götz Veser, Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering.

MCSI developed the research seed grant program to provide faculty with funding support to allow students to participate in high-quality research, teaching, outreach and creative endeavors. The goals of the grants are: (1) seed funding to develop ideas to the point where external funding can be obtained; (2) awards to support scholarship in areas where external funding is extremely limited; (3) resources to introduce curricular innovations into the classroom; or (4) tools or techniques to encourage community outreach and education.




Contact: Paul Kovach