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The requirement to have an industrial partner ensures that I have a reality check on the work – and while it means more effort up front to establish the right relationships, in the end this is really helpful because it allows me to have some confidence that what I’m doing is as practical and relevant to real-world needs as possible.
- Daniel Schmidt of UMass Lowell Plastics Engineering

Academic Research Grants

Seed Funding to Reduce Toxics

TURI Symposium

TURI Awards Grants to Two Faculty Members 

  • UMass Lowell Assoc. Prof. Nagarajan of Plastics Engineering is partnering with Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics in Norwood to research safer alternative surfactants used in diagnostic laboratory testing products.
  • UMass Lowell Asst. Prof. Hansen of Mechanical Engineering is working with ITW Polymer Sealants in Rockland to research safer alternatives to solvents currently in use in the company’s contact adhesive products. 

In addition, the TURI Laboratory is working with Savogran in Norwood to research safer alternatives to methylene chloride used in household paint stripping formulations.

Research that Helps Companies Reduce Toxic Chemical Use

Every year we provide seed funding to faculty in the UMass system to initiate research that will lead to new opportunities for companies to reduce their use of toxic chemicals. Since its inception this program has provided over $1,500,000 in funding, supporting more than 105 graduate and doctoral level students. The seed funding helps UMass researchers gain additional funding to find safer alternatives.

For example, Assoc. Prof. Zhiyong Gu and an interdisciplinary team received $460K from the National Science Foundation to develop lead-free soldering for the microelectronics and semiconductor industry. It has also lead to national recognition of the research being done and the students at UMass. Read the Lowell Sun story A Greener Clean: From fruit peels and algae, UML team works to create less-toxic detergent.

The research has contributed to industry adoption of toxics use reduction, has resulted in patents and commercial products, and has contributed to TURI's goal of reducing the use of toxic chemicals to promote safer worker and environmental health.