Research for Lunch with Dr. Julian Tao

Bio-Inspired Erosion Countermeasure: Microbial Induced Calcite Precipitation

ASEC 105, 12-1 pm Friday, November 4, 2016

Dr. Julian Tao is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering. He has a keen interest in exploring fundamental mechanisms and innovative countermeasures to emerging infrastructure challenges, particularly in the broad area of sustainable and resilient geotechnical engineering. Select topics include sustainable geotechnics, bioinspired geotechnics and computational geomechanics. His career goal is to establish a research platform for bioinspired, sustainable and smart geotechnics (BiSS Geo), where sustainable solutions to a variety of geotechnical problems can be sought at the boundaries of biology, mechanics and engineering.

Presentation Summary

Surface erosion is relevant to a variety of infrastructure problems such as bridge scour, roadway shoulder erosion, coastal erosion, and riverbank and slope stability. For example, about 60% of all bridge failure cases were caused by local scour and other hydraulic related issues. This research investigates the feasibility of using microbial induced calcite precipitation (MICP) as an erosion countermeasure. MICP is a natural phenomenon where calcite precipitation occurs as a consequence of microbial metabolic activity. The precipitated calcite modifies the soil fabrics and provides additional bonding force between soil particles, thus improving the erosion resistance. A standard soil, Ottawa graded sand, was treated with bacteria, Sporosarcina pasteurii, in a full-contact reactor where the soil in a fabric mold is fully immersed in the bacteria and cementation solution. The treated soil samples were tested in a flume to investigate the erosional behavior; both surface erosion and bridge scour tests were conducted. It was found that, while the untreated soil is highly erodible, the erosion of the treated sand is negligible under the test situations; but some concerns are raised regarding to practical applications. Future efforts will be made to identify alternative treatment procedures which are more applicable to the field.

Anyone is welcome to attend this research presentation; feel free to bring a brown bag lunch!

Research for Lunch with Dr. Michael Levin

The Spanish Embassy in Genoa: A Unique Case

CAS 209, 12-1 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Dr. Michael J. Levin was born and raised in Philadelphia PA.  He graduated from Vassar College in 1990, and received his Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies from Yale University in 1997.  He first came to the University of Akron in 1999, and received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor of History in 2005.  He is the author of Agents of Empire: Spanish Ambassadors in Sixteenth-Century Italy (Cornell University Press, 2005), and a contributor to The Dangerous Trade: Spies, Spymasters and the Making of Europe, ed. Daniel Szechi (Dundee University Press, 2010).

Dr. Levin’s research and teaching focus on Renaissance Europe, with a special interest in Spain, Italy, and diplomatic/ political history.  His teaching features an interdisciplinary approach, combining art, literature, philosophy, and religion with the study of history.

Presentation Summary

“My research project focuses on Gomez Suarez de Figueroa, the Spanish resident ambassador in Genoa from 1529 to 1569.  He is a unique case in Renaissance diplomacy, having been at his post for an unprecedented forty years.  But the Spanish embassy in Genoa was also a very different kind of embassy, because of the special relationship between Spain and Genoa at the time.  Ambassadors usually were posted to independent states, but Genoa was already very much in Spain’s geopolitical orbit.  Figueroa’s duties as ambassador were thus very different from Spain’s other ambassadors, and I will discuss these differences in my presentation.”

Anyone is welcome to attend this research presentation; feel free to bring a brown bag lunch!


NSF-Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)

Internal Limited Submission Deadline to the Office of Research Administration: Monday, November 28, 2016 at 5 pm.

NSF Deadline: January 11, 2017

The Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) serves to increase access to shared scientific and engineering instruments for research and research training in our Nation’s institutions of higher education, not-for-profit museums, science centers and scientific/engineering research organizations. The program provides organizations with opportunities to acquire major instrumentation that supports the research and research training goals of the organization and that may be used by other researchers regionally or nationally. 

Each MRI proposal may request support for the acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single research instrument for shared inter- and/or intra-organizational use.  Development efforts that leverage the strengths of private sector partners to build instrument development capacity at MRI submission-eligible organizations are encouraged.

For full program details visit NSF’s webpage

For details regarding the limited submission process visit the ORA Limited Submission webpage

Upcoming NSF Grant Opportunities

Archaeology and Archaeometry

Deadline: December 1, 2016

The goal of the Archaeology Program is to fund research which furthers anthropologically relevant archaeological knowledge. In accordance with the National Science Foundation’s mission such research has the potential to provide fundamental scientific insight. While within the broad range of “archaeology” the focus is on projects judged to be significant from an anthropological perspective, the Program sets no priorities based on time period, geographic region or specific research topic.

IUSE/Professional Formation of Engineers: REvolutionizing engineering and computer science Departments

Letter of Intent Deadline Date:  December 9, 2016

Full Proposal Deadline Date:  January 18, 2017

This funding opportunity enables engineering and computer science departments to lead the nation by successfully achieving significant sustainable changes necessary to overcome longstanding issues in their undergraduate programs and educate inclusive communities of engineering and computer science students prepared to solve 21st-­century challenges.

National Science Foundation Research Traineeship Program

Letter of Intent Deadline Date:  December 9, 2016

Full Proposal Deadline Date:  February 7, 2017

The NRT program seeks proposals that ensure that graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers.

Solar, Heliospheric, and INterplanetary Environment  (SHINE)

Full Proposal Deadline Date:  December 14, 2016

The solar and heliospheric research communities are dedicated to promoting enhanced understanding of, and predictive capabilities for, solar disturbances that propagate to the Earth.  Broad-based, grass-roots associations such as SHINE have developed to focus community effort on these scientific questions.  Proposals are solicited for research directly related to topics under consideration and discussion at community workshops organized by SHINE.

Upcoming NEOMED Seminar


Northeast Ohio Medical University, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology will be hosting the following seminar on Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. (Room F-118):

Meanings in Zebra Finch Vocalizations: an investigation of acoustic and neural codes                                                   

Frederic E. Theunissen, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley

Interested parties should contact for more information.