Department of Energy Awards Funds to A&T through RENEW Initiative

By Jackie Torok / 08/23/2023 Research and Economic Development, College of Science and Technology

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Aug. 23, 2023) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is among the universities chosen to receive funding through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Reaching a New Energy Sciences Workforce (RENEW) initiative.

The initiative will award $70 million in federal funding for student research and workforce training to colleges and universities across the country, said Congresswoman Kathy Manning, whose North Carolina district includes the N.C. A&T campus.

Ademe Mekonnen, Ph.D., professor of physics in A&T’s College of Science and Technology (CoST), is the principal investigator (PI) for “Sub-seasonal to Interannual Variability and Predictability of Rainfall over East Africa,” one of the funded projects. It is designed to strengthen the atmospheric science and meteorology program at A&T through experiential training and student mentorship and is being conducted with co-PIs from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Bishnu P. Bastakoti, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry in CoST, is co-PI for another funded project, “Structure Property Relationships in Two-Dimensional MXenes,” led by Fayetteville State University in conjunction with Savannah River National Laboratory.

“We are very excited to receive this new funding from DOE,” said CoST Dean Abdellah Ahmidouch, Ph.D. “This support will substantially strengthen our education and research programs in atmospheric science and meteorology and will help us attract more minority students to the field. Our students will receive training in state-of-the-art computational techniques and actively engage in pioneering research in climate science.”

This funding supports research by historically underrepresented communities and diversifies leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“Investing in diverse university research is critical to advancing our country’s global leadership in science, research and technology,” said Manning. “North Carolina A&T’s inclusion in the RENEW program highlights its status as a national research institution. I’m proud to celebrate N.C. A&T’s continued accomplishments in STEM research and to champion support for STEM research and historically Black colleges and universities in Congress.”

Details about the funded projects are at https://science.osti.gov/Initiatives/RENEW.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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