Gannon University Engineering Professor Awarded Research Grant

Posted: May 23, 2013

Erie, PA; Thanks to a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, a Gannon University professor can pursue research into a promising new technology for alternative power generation.

Lin Zhao, Ph.D., assistant professor, electrical & computer engineering, has been selected to received funds totaling $7500 and three credits of release time each semester for a two-year period for her proposal entitled "Doubly-Fed- Induction-Generator (DFIG) Modeling and Control for Wind Energy Harvesting."

The grant, NSF Award 1107015, is a five-year NSF ADVANCE Partnerships for Adaptation, Implementation, and Dissemination (PAID) grant and supports the goal of the University's TRANSFORM (Teaching-Research-Advancement Network to Secure Female Faculty for Organizational Retention and Management) initiative to increase the recruitment, retention, advancement, and leadership development for the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) female faculty at Gannon.

Zhao's grant is the centerpiece of one of TRANSFORM's three strategies: the advancement of female faculty through the rank and tenure process, by establishing Research Initiation Awards for early- or mid-career STEM female faculty to augment research efforts.

"I am very grateful that as a female faculty member I was provided with this wonderful opportunity," Zhao said. "I am also grateful to the tremendous support and trust received from the Research Initiation Award committee, the university, College of Engineering and Business, and ECE department. Through future publications, I wish to have Gannon known for wind energy related electric drives research and to attract more female students to Gannon's STEM programs.

"I think every female faculty member at Gannon in STEM areas deserves this award."

Weslene Tallmadge, Ph.D., associate professor and chairperson of Gannon's chemistry department and a co-principal investigator for the Research Initiation Award, said, "We received six exceptional proposals to consider. Committee members were impressed with [Zhao's} qualifications, careful budget and detailed plans."

The other three objectives of the grant-funded TRANSFORM project are the recruitment and retention of female faculty in the STEM disciplines, preparation of female faculty to hold effective leadership positions and the education of deans, department chairs, and faculty leaders about issues affecting female faculty.