NSF grant supports women researchers at South Dakota Tech

02/09/05

A South Dakota Tech researcher has received funding from the National Science Foundation to add women undergraduate students to his research team.

Dr. Sangchul Bang, a professor in Tech's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, received $12,500 to hire prominent undergraduate students who plan to continue their education in graduate school. The students will analyze experimental results, establish solution methods and validate the methodology used in the research to create better piles for use at sea and on shore. The National Science Foundation previously awarded $218,932 to Bang for that research.

The original research is important because current design method for piles doesn't take into account the three-dimensional effects of certain kinds of loads. Piles are foundation structures typically made of concrete or steel that are driven into the ground to support bridges, docks, and other structures.

"Many onshore and offshore foundations use this type of foundation," Bang said. "A more efficient design method may result in additional savings when these foundations are built."

The supplemental grant to hire women research assistants fits with another National Science Foundation grant that South Dakota Tech received. Tech will use the $200,000 award to establish a women's mentoring program designed to increase retention of women students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

The $200,000 in grant funding lasts two years. During that time, Tech will implement the mentoring program and hire a Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program director. While this grant will provide the initial seed money for the director position, the university will actively seek ways to fund the position after the granting period is over. Tech will collaborate on the program with experts on mentoring and assessment from Purdue University and the University of Michigan.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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