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Academic Research Grants

The TURI Academic Research grants are awarded to UMass researchers in partnership with industry. The 2022 grant program is on hold and will be restarted in 2023. If you have any questions or ideas for future projects, contact Greg Morose.

The most recent grant recipients are:

Associate Professor Hsi-Wu Wong, Department of Chemical Engineering at UMass Lowell aims to identify safer, effective solvents in collaboration with Johnson Matthey, a manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates at its facilities in North Andover and Devens. The safer alternatives could replace methylene chloride, a toxic chemical used in the company’s manufacturing processes. This project is a continuation of last year’s research conducted by Assistant Professor Grace Chen of Plastics Engineering. The goal of this year’s research is to further evaluate the effectiveness of the identified safer alternative solvent blends.

Professor Ramaswamy Nagarajan, Department of Plastics Engineering at UMass Lowell will work with Transene Company of Danvers to research safer chemicals, to replace per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) surfactants used in electronic processing chemicals. The research team will study the compatibility and stability of pectin-based bio-surfactants in etching solutions. This work is expected to help Transene phase out the use of PFAS by the end of 2022 and provide useful results for other industries that use PFAS surfactants in manufacturing.

Grant Projects Achieve Results

Siemens Collaborates with UMass Lowell Researchers to Find a Safer Surfactant

With funding from a TURI Academic Research Grant, UMass Lowell researchers partnered with Siemens Healthineers to find a safer surfactant used in diagnostics devices.

Plastics Engineering Researchers Publish Research Results in Polymer Magazine 

The research results of a TURI Academic Research Grant project identified safer alternatives to methylene chloride used to remove conformal coatings on printed circuit boards. The study, led by Assistant Professor Wan-Ting (Grace) Chen of the Plastics Engineering Department at UMass Lowell in partnership with Raytheon Company, was recently published in Polymers Journal. Read the article, "Removing Acrylic Conformal Coating with Safer Solvents for Re-Manufacturing Electronics."

Johnson Matthey Collaborates to Find Safer Alternatives to Methylene Chloride use in Pharmaceuticals

Assistant Professor Chen worked on a second grant in partnership with Johnson Matthey, a manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates with facilities located in North Andover and Devens. The goal of the research project was to find safer alternatives to methylene chloride, a toxic chemical used in reaction and purification processes. The researchers identified safer alternative solvents, screened the alternatives for health and safety considerations and tested the performance of selected solvents. The results for this research were published in the Separations Journal in 2021.