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Academic Research Grants

TURI Symposium

Although the deadline has passed to submit proposals, please contact Greg Morose to discuss project ideas for next fiscal year.

Research projects are intended to help Massachusetts companies develop solutions for some of the more challenging uses of toxic chemicals – therefore we seek the involvement of Massachusetts companies as industry partners for these academic research projects.

Academic researchers benefit from solving real world problems through their research and provide invaluable training for next generation engineers and scientists. Industry partners benefit by having highly skilled researchers work on their toxics use reduction problems at no cost. Contact Greg Morose to discuss your project ideas.

Who's Eligible

Faculty researchers who:

-Are teaching and/or conducting research at one of the five UMass campuses (Amherst, Lowell, Dartmouth, Boston or Worcester), and;

-Have a master's or doctoral level student candidate who will be dedicated to the research project for one academic year.

The maximum funding amount for each research project is $25,000 and project proposals typically fall within the $20,000 to $25,000 range. This program emphasizes the importance of graduate student engagement, and the bulk of the funding provided is intended to compensate graduate students actively involved in the research over the course of the academic year. 

Project Examples

This year's projects include:

-Prof. Ram Nagarajan of the Department of Plastics Engineering is partnering with Bradford Industries of Lowell to find and evaluate safer solvent blends to replace the use of the toxic solvent dimethylformamide (DMF).

-Profs. Jayant Kumar of the Department of Physics and Ram Nagarajan of the Department of Plastics Engineering will partner with Mexichem Specialty Compounds of Leominster, the largest supplier of PVC-based cable and wire products in Massachusetts. The research team will develop safer alternatives to antimony trioxide, a widely-used flame retardant that’s listed as a probable carcinogen by IARC. 

-Assistant Prof. Hsi-Wu Wong of the Department of Chemical Engineering will partner with Waters Corporation of Milford to identify safer solvents used in liquid chromatography equipment that identifies and quantifies chemical compounds in complex mixtures. The final solvent formulations will replace the harmful solvents currently in use including methanol, acetonitrile and tetrahydrofuran.

-Assistant Prof. Christopher Hansen of the Department of Mechanical Engineering will partner with Raytheon to identify and investigate replacements for the use methylene chloride for coating removal. The research will include the evaluation of alternatives for the removal of chemical agent resistant coatings and conformal coating applications.

The requirement to have an industrial partner ensures that I have a reality check on the research. This is really helpful because it allows me to have confidence that what I’m doing is as practical and relevant to real-world needs as possible.
- Prof. Daniel Schmidt of UMass Lowell Plastics Engineering Dept.