WVU expands alliance with Oak Ridge Associated Universities organization

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August 3, 2011 by Gerrill Griffith, WVU Research Corp. and Trina Wafle, National Research Center for Coal and Energy

Morgantown, W.Va. — On Tuesday, West Virginia University celebrated its 54-year affiliation with Oak Ridge

WVU Vice President for Research and Economic Development Curt Peterson (L) signed two agreements with ORAU Vice President for University Partnerships Arlene Garrison that pave the way for greater cooperation between the organizations. WVU Provost Michele Wheatly and NRCCE director Richard Bajura also participated. Peterson is a member of the ORAU board and Bajura serves as WVU's ORAU Councilor. For more about ORAU, visit http://see.orau.org.

WVU Vice President for Research and Economic Development Curt Peterson (L) signed two agreements with ORAU Vice President for University Partnerships Arlene Garrison that pave the way for greater cooperation between the organizations. WVU Provost Michele Wheatly and NRCCE director Richard Bajura also participated. Peterson is a member of the ORAU board and Bajura serves as WVU’s ORAU Councilor. For more about ORAU, visit http://see.orau.org.

Associated Universities by signing two agreements to pave the way for additional joint research with the 98-member organization. ORAU provided more than $1 million in research support for WVU faculty, post doctoral fellows, and graduate and undergraduate students in 2010 through its existing membership programs.

WVU Provost Michele Wheatly and Vice President for Research and Economic Development Curt Peterson welcomed Arlene Garrison, ORAU vice president of university partnerships for a presentation and reception at the Mountainlair Gold Ballroom to alert faculty to ORAU opportunities and to honor current and past participants. The event was capped by a signing ceremony involving Garrison and Peterson that promises greater levels of cooperation between WVU and ORAU. Peterson is a member of ORAU’s board.

In 2010, WVU faculty received $70,000 in support through ORAU, while post doctoral fellows received $418,000, postgraduate interns earned $231,000, graduate students, $104,000 and undergraduate students, $228,000 for research with the Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Centers for Disease Control, the Federal Drug Administration, and NASA.

Two graduate students received ORAU support to attend the 60th Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany.

“Most federal agencies look to hire scientists who have participated in an internship or postgraduate work at their laboratories through programs such as the ones offered by ORAU,” said Garrison.

Recently, ORAU awarded WVU’s Nicolas Zegre, a second-year assistant professor in the Davis College of Forestry, Natural Resources and Design, a prestigious 2011 Ralph E. Powe Jr. Faculty Enhancement Award to study hydrology in West Virginia to learn more about the causes of damaging floods in southern West Virginia.

Richard Bajura, director of WVU’s National Research Center for Coal and Energy, serves as the University’s ORAU Councilor. He explained that faculty and students apply directly to the various ORAU programs. ORAU then awards funding directly to the successful recipient. Details about the various programs are available at http://see.orau.org. Bajura is available to provide advice and assistance.

Garrison and Robert Zinn of ORAU’s National Security and Emergency Management Program met with WVU’s health, science, and engineering faculty and administrators to develop a greater understanding about WVU’s comprehensive research and educational capabilities. Research related to climate, energy from fuel cells and biomass, biometrics, and forensics were featured during an afternoon tour. “We see the greatest opportunity for growth in forensics,” Garrison said during the tour.

ORAU officials explain that the consortium works to bring together university faculty and students to collaborate on major scientific initiatives that help keep America on the leading edge of science and technology.

-NRCCE-

Contact: Richard Bajura, 304 293-6034