ENew Mexico State University Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Ehsan Dehghan-Niri received a 2021 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development award for his research project involving aye-ayes, an unusual primate from Madagascar. His more than $500,000 grant is part of the more than $4 million NMSU faculty and staff have been awarded from NSF in 2021. | NMSU Photo by Vladimir Avina
New Mexico State University (NMSU) is one of six institutions in the state to receive research funding from the National Science Foundation this year.
Currently, NMSU has been awarded $4,086,244 to support research projects in areas such as biology, computer science, engineering, environmental science, math and technology. Many of the grants focus on increasing the number of women, Hispanics, Native Americans, and other historically underrepresented groups in STEM fields.
“NSF funding supports high quality research and results from the efforts of our superb faculty and research scientists,” said Luis Cifuentes, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School. “NMSU aspires to Carnegie R1 ranking; continued success with NSF funding is a key to accomplishing this goal.”
The NSF funding, which supports research and increasing equity and diversity in science, technology, engineering and math, helps NMSU achieve Goal 2 of its LEADS 2025 strategic plan, which focuses on elevating research and creativity. NMSU believes that “all disciplines advance research, scholarship and creative activity, and along with the assets of the state of New Mexico, create a strong foundation for teaching, learning, education, training, innovation and economic development.”
“New Mexico’s public colleges and research universities add tremendous value to our state, helping to position us as national and international leaders in innovation,” New Mexico Higher Education Secretary Stephanie Rodriguez said in a press release about the funding. “It is especially important that we empower students from all backgrounds for successful careers in science, technology, engineering, and math with mentorship and research experience during their academic careers.”
NMSU research projects funded include:
- $1,190,460 to conduct research into biofilm, through which students will be co-mentored by a team of scientists and have the opportunity to conduct research at national laboratories.
- $579,236 to fund research into the auditory system of aye-ayes, one of the most unique and endangered primates in the world, and find potential applications to technology.
- $532,400 to develop a novel approach to doing participatory design through live streaming media: Live Participatory Design Fiction (LPDF).
- $475,685 for the purchase of a Bio-AFM microscope to support the research and training of investigators and students at NMSU, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and Eastern New Mexico University.
- $301,999 to envision, design and engage in worker-oriented research and training related to the proliferation of automation in the hospitality industry, which has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- $299,733 to increase the participation of women and Hispanic high school students in computer science.
- $250,000 to research groundwater sustainability and management of transboundary aquifers.
- $239,400 to research how the physical environment, interactions with others, and an animal’s own characteristics act together to influence that animal’s movements through a landscape.
- $121,331 to research challenges facing floating offshore wind turbine technology.
- $98,980 to research increasing the resilience of food systems and reducing food insecurity and waste.
- $50,000 to fund the development of a technology that can convert yard trimmings disposed as municipal solid waste into an environmentally benign anti-icer.
- $46,000 for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program.
Collectively, the six New Mexico colleges and universities have received $43.5 million from NSF.