Accomplishments

In the nine years since DOE-EM awarded the Chairs of Excellence grants, the Program has yielded quantifiable results in advancing research, enhancing win rates, growing academics, promoting partnerships, sustaining staff support, effecting outreach, and assuring program sustainability within the ten participating universities' engineering schools.

Many of the member universities participating in the Massie Chairs program now offer undergraduate and graduate environmental programs, including masters and doctoral engineering degrees. Member universities have graduated more than 288 environmental engineering students from their undergraduate and graduate programs and over 887 students have taken environmental courses offered through the Program. In addition, over 130 companies, including Fortune 500 companies, employ these students. Staff include researchers, as well as graduate and undergraduate students receiving first-time experience and training in environmental engineering and science research.

Since inception, the Dr. Samuel P. Massie Chairs of Excellence Program has become a premier model for the establishment of other chair programs within the Federal Government.

Through the year 2010 this program has:

  • been awarded 114 contracts and grants with a total value of $50.1M in addition to DOE-EM funds

  • 80 research projects underway for private and local, state and federal government entities and completed 75 projects with a number of significant findings

  • presented its research accomplishments at over 244 national and international environmental conferences

  • published its findings in highly regarded journals (e.g. Journal of Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science and Technology)

  • produced 9 books and 14 book chapters now being utilized in university environmental engineering programs and for industry reference throughout the U.S.

  • partnered in over 77 research-related and nearly 25 education-related projects (national and international).

The Massie Chairs are assisting municipalities and corporations in the United States and countries around the world with environmental issues, technology applications, and education initiatives. In providing their technical expertise to the Interagency Working  Group on Environmental Justice, which includes 15 Federal agencies, the Chairs have taken an active role in Brownfields initiatives in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and other states. They have collaborated on research projects with the Department of Energy Laboratories and private industry. Florida A&M University's Chair was part of a team of scientists led by Dr. Richard Smalley, a Nobel Laureate, which resulted in a new discovery in single-walled carbon nanotubes research.

Examples of the Chairs' research encompass the following areas:

  • evaluation of stabilization & solidification waste-forms for disposal of mixed wastes, microbial stability of ceramic-coated metal container materials for use in the Yucca Mountain Radioactive Waste Repository

  • design of a novel gas chromatographic system for the analysis of radioactive uranium gases

  • development of computer code to model three-dimensional transient subsidence

  • modeling of movement of tritium in the vadose zone

  • design and assembly of a portable gas chromatographic system for the analysis of corrosive uranium fluoride gases

  • demonstration of bioremediation options for PCBs, PCB- and explosives-contaminated sites; molecular modeling of hydrophobic organic contaminants uptake and sequestration by soil organic matter

  • development of a bio-sensor technique to detect agricultural contaminants in the environment

  • computer simulation of combustion process for pollution studies

  • optimization of performance in molten carbonate fuel cells

  • design of an innovative sandbox for conducting research of contaminant migration through the vadose zone

  • removal of arsenic and organic contaminations from waste water by natural wastes.

Results from the Chairs' research include: solutions for bridges and highway repairs; improved boat technologies; affordable weapons systems; a new generation computer code that will simulate time-dependent subsidence in three dimensions; an efficient industry tool which can improve quality, reduce costs and maximize environmental impacts for new or existing products; and a new method for the evaluation of waste forms, a step-by-step implementation guide for ISO 14000 which enables the U.S. manufacturing industry to be more competitive in the global market place.

The Chairs Program actively engages in outreach activities to disadvantaged communities, institutions and individuals to establish community technology centers and to promote interest in the sciences and engineering among pre-college youth. Through the efforts of Prairie View A&M University, Houston's Chinquapin School students are being exposed to engineering, environmental issues and the use of solar powered vehicles. Prairie View A&M University is also assisting the Agricultural Extension Service of Waller County in Houston, Texas to provide computer literacy and computer access for its residents. Texas farmers have received technical assistance from the Chairs to better understand the conversion in the units from U.S. standards to the metric system.  Tennessee State University's Chair served as the technical advisor to citizens who access the Scarboro Community Technology Center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

In 1998, the first Massie Chairs Fellows Program was initiated to enhance math and science education to approximately 400,000 students throughout the U.S. in grades K-12.  In the first pilot, conducted at Blunt High School in Prichard, Alabama, the Tuskegee University Chair worked with high school students to collect and analyze soil and water samples taken from their community. Ten scholarships were awarded by Tuskegee University in the spring of 2003.  In 2000, a second pilot was conducted at Bonnie Brae Elementary School in Fairfax, Virginia.  The Chair at Morgan State University lectured fifth grade students on earth science and stimulate the children's interest in environmental  careers. The fifth grade teacher became the first Massie Chairs Fellow.

Each Massie Chair has initiated a Fellows Program in its neighboring communities. Southern University's Mobile Environmental Classroom, which exposes rural middle and high school students to modern scientific instrumentation and concepts and includes a system for sharing scientific instrumentation between schools, is a model for teacher training and instrumentation.

Publications and Presentations (printable view)

 

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