Department of Energy Quality (DEQ) Funded Research

CERT NSF Funded Research


NSF INCLUDES 1744477 (1/2018 - 12/2019, $300k/2 yrs.)

Dr. Greg Monty, Director of CERT, (PI)

EMERGE (Education for Minorities to Effectively Raise Graduation and Employment) in STEM is a Design and Development Launch Pilot that will (1) advance the knowledge and evidence base for successful collective-impact strategies, thereby broadening participation and inclusion of underrepresent minorities (URMs) in the STEM workforce; (2) strengthen diversity in STEM pathways with bold, innovative, collaborative, consistent, and persistent student exposure to exciting STEM career opportunities, throughout the grade 4-12 continuum; and (3) build, demonstrate, and document a collective-impact process/practice for national expansion.



NSF DCL 190334 (5-9/2019, $50k)

Dr. Greg Monty, Director of CERT (PI)

SEUSS (Southeast Urban Sustainability Summit) is a conference to develop a convergence research network comprised of academics, municipalities, industries, and advocacy groups with the vision of advancing research in urban sustainability specific to the state of North Carolina. The resulting research agenda will have implications for the entire southeast region due to similarities of NC cities and towns, to those across the greater region.

SEUSS will form a diverse network of stakeholders across the state committed to identifying and addressing the state’s most pressing sustainability and resilience issues associated with: energy, water, waste, transportation, housing, health/safety, and food/agriculture. The convergence research network formed at SEUSS will seek additional funding to conduct the research identified at the conference.




NSF HBCU-UP –1818679 (7/2018 - 6/2021, $350k/3 yrs.)

Dr. Greg Monty, Director of CERT (PI)

STEP into STEM is a data-driven study that will (1) advance the knowledge and evidence base for successful strategies to encourage underrepresented minorities (URMs) at the high-school, community-college and 4-year-undergraduate level, who are either uncommitted or non-STEM majors, to commit to STEM pathways; and (2) develop a set of nationally-applicable policy recommendations (including measurements/metrics) that will dramatically increase the number of URMs that join and remain on STEM pathways to the STEM workforce.


Complex Natural and Human Systems: Dynamics of rural/urban food desert driven by the interactions between community socio-economic characteristics and land/water quality

NSF BCS 1824949 (9/2018 - 2/2022, $749,989/3 yrs.)

Dr. Greg Monty, Director of CERT (Co-PI)

Food deserts have become a serious issue in rural and urban communities. The proposed research will study the relationships and interactions between human systems and natural systems contributing to food deserts in three geographically diverse regions of North Carolina. This project proposes to create a transformative platform to integrate the human systems with natural systems to understand the issues influencing food deserts in the rural and urban community. Specifically, the objectives are to (1) create a geo-coded spatial-temporal database including both human factors and natural factors; (2) build an integrated modeling framework that includes natural system models (biophysical model, GIS land use model), human system models (production model, consumption model), and integrated procedures (multi-agent simulation) to link human systems to natural systems; (3) validate the reliability and the robustness of the database and the integrated modeling framework in selected study areas; and (4) conduct training workshops and educational opportunities for local and state agencies, extension agents, farmers, food retailers, undergraduate/graduate students, and other stakeholders.

Clean Power Plan modeling using STEER tool

A study of Electricity Generation in North Carolina Using Linear Regression and Regression Trees
Major Professors:
Dr. Greg Monty, Director of CERT
Dr. Marwan Bikdash, Professor of Computational Science

This research was focused on the 700+ electricity generators across NC, including coal, natural gas, solar, hydro, nuclear, and petroleum sources. The goal of the research was to determine the portfolio of generators that could meet the demand for electricity in NC, while reducing the carbon emissions to fall in line with the Paris Accord goals for 2030. Hourly data was collected from the Energy Information Administration and used in this research analysis. Linear regression and regression-tree analysis was used to model the energy generation in NC, with Matlab and Gurobi optimization models. Results indicate that the growing demand in NC can be met with increased deployment of solar and hydroelectric power, and a growing use of natural gas, while reducing coal generation.

Coal Ash Remediation through Bio-Product Development

Dr. Kunigal Shivakumar, Research Professor, Director of Center for Composite Materials Research

Eco-Core is a lightweight and fire-resistant structural core material that was developed for polymer-composite, sandwich-structural applications at N.C. A&T’s Center for Composite Materials Research (CCMR) funded by ONR. The fire-resistant property comes from binding a larger volume of inert material via a very small volume of binder. Eco-core has superior, mechanical, fire-resistant, water-resistant, dimensional-stability, and shock and blast resistant properties.