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National Science Foundation Grant Funds Major Research Project at Elizabeth City State University

Elizabeth City State University has received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that will contribute to furthering STEM education for undergraduate students.

The NSF has awarded a $176,828 grant for Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) to purchase equipment for research and the education of students enrolled in the field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM. The grant will purchase equipment for a Differential Electrochemical Mass Spectrometry System, or DEMS.

According to the grant’s principal investigator, Dr. Bijandra Kumar, the DEMS is a technique that analyzes electrochemical reactions. The research will focus on applied nanomaterials science and clean energy storage systems.

“Students will learn the fundamental science of important electrochemical reactions including carbon dioxide conversion, hydrogen evolution reaction and metal air batteries,” said Dr. Kumar.

The grant will also provide learning opportunities in technology to K through 12 public school students in the 21-county service area of ECSU, throughout rural Northeastern North Carolina. In addition, the NSF grant will support the development of a research facility at ECSU provide for collaborative research activities with other universities, research education, and support training of underrepresented undergraduate students at ECSU.

When assistant professor of technology, Dr. Kumar, joined ECSU in September 2017, he brought with him research on the cutting edge of sustainable technology.

Dr. Kumar’s goal as an academic researcher is to find the most efficient means to use renewable energy such as solar power. Storing the collected energy has been a challenge, he says.

“My work is to find a way to store energy,” said Kumar.

Kumar’s research has been published in a number of journals including, Science.