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Africa-U.S Network of Centers of Excellence

in

Water & Environmental Science and Engineering

PI: Nosa O. Egiebor, Professor & DOE/NNSA Samuel Massie Chair
Co-PIs: Ramble Ankumah (Tuskegee Univ.) & Winston Soboyejo (Princeton Univ.)
Funding: USAID/HED; $8.1 million over 5 years (2011-2016).


It is generally known that the North American and the African continents face some of the most serious water and environmental challenges that are further complicated by climate change issues and uncontrolled anthropogenic pollution from human activities. For example, various technical studies, including reports by the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), have indicated that Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to environmental and climate change impacts, to the extent that previous development efforts and the millennium development goals (MDGs) are in jeopardy. The arid and semi-arid regions in Africa and North America are becoming drier, while some areas of equatorial Africa and parts of southern Africa are getting wetter, thus leading to serious drought in some areas and flood problems in others. The current severe drought and famine situation in Somalia and the Horn of Africa is instructive. Global warming, resulting from green-house gas pollution, is believed to have also played a major role in climate change and higher temperatures throughout much of North America and Africa.

This project, funded under the USAID “Africa-US Higher Education Initiative”, is an international partnership with Tuskegee University as the lead institution, and Princeton University together with four universities from three African countries as project partners. The International Institute for Water & Environmental Engineering (2iE) in Burkina Faso is the lead institution in Africa while the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in Ghana, the African University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Nigeria, and the University of Benin, also in Nigeria, are the other African partner institutions.

The partnership is aimed at establishing a long-term international collaborative network of centers of excellence (COEs) in the area of water, environmental, and climate change science and engineering in selected higher educational institutions in Africa and the United States. The project is planned to be a 5 to 15-year effort that is divided into 3 execution and implementation phases. The first and second phases have been funded and will be executed over the next five years. The third phase will be for an additional 5 – 10 years beyond Phases 1 & 2. The project activities involve collaborative research, education, student and faculty exchange, and capacity-building efforts that will have significant benefits for both Tuskegee University and the African counterpart institutions. The major objectives of the project will include, but not limited to:
a. Developing the educational degree programs, curricula, and the human and material capacity needed to establish centers of research and education excellence in water, environmental, and climate change science and engineering at both Tuskegee University and at the African partner institutions.
b. Developing an international exchange and training programs for students, faculty, and researchers between Tuskegee University and the African partner institutions in support of the research and education efforts.
c. Building the institutional capacity of Tuskegee University and the partner institutions for state-of-the-art capacity to conduct high quality research and education in water, environmental, and climate change science and engineering.



 

 

Massie Chairs visit the Los Alamos Laboratory

By Erika L. Martinez

Basil Swanson of Chemistry Division speaks to Samuel P. Massie Chairs of Excellence Program visitors and Lab employees during the recent visit.

Potential collaborations discussed

A team of world-class scholars, researchers and educators who advance research, enhance academics, promote partnerships, and effect outreach in the environmental sciences visited the Laboratory recently.

The Samuel P. Massie Chairs of Excellence Program is a Department of Energy program that includes nine participating Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and one Hispanic Serving Institution.

According to Dave Foster of the Education and Postdoc Office (STB-EPDO), the primary goal of the meeting was to introduce the 10 Massie Chairs to Lab researchers and managers in their primary research interest areas, with the objective of exploring potential follow-on collaborative research and development and student internship possibilities with the Lab.

Ten NNSA-funded Minority Serving Institutions undergraduate summer interns are working at Los Alamos this summer. Malika Hobbs, NNSA Massie Chairs program manager and coordinator of the MSI student internship program, accompanied the visitors. 

Basil Swanson of Chemistry Division speaks to Samuel P. Massie Chairs of Excellence Program visitors and Lab employees during the recent visit.
Credit: by Sandra Valdez, Records Management, Media Services, and Operations

 

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