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MU College of Engineering research centers win federal backing

Sen. Kit Bond announcing federal funding Photo by Melinda Sheffle

Two new MU College of Engineering research centers will receive $3.75 million in federal funding this year, Sen. Kit Bond recently announced.

The CoE Center for Micro/Nano Systems and Nanotechnology, which researches and develops miniaturized technologies that can be used for both military and private purposes, will receive $2 million in Department of Defense funding, Bond said during a Jan. 3 press conference at MU’s Lafferre Hall. The CoE Center for Geospatial Intelligence, which develops computer software to sift through and analyze geospatial information vital to national security, will receive $1.75 million, he said.

Bond, R-Mo. and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, emphasized the importance of MU’s defense-related research.

“We need to get the intelligence right,” Bond said. “We need to analyze, collect and disseminate it.”

The CoE’s micro/nano-systems center focuses on so-called “dual-use” technology, which has both military and commercial applications. Among its projects is the development of microchip-based shock wave generators that can be used to initiate explosions or detect explosives. The same device can be used to find kidney stones or cancer cells through ultrasonic imaging, said Shubhra Gangopadhyay, an electrical and computer engineering professor who leads the center.

The CoE Center for Geospatial Intelligence integrates satellite or airborne sensor data to generate information about potential adversaries, such as the location of targets or underground facilities, said Curt Davis, the center’s director and an electrical and computer engineering professor.

“We are confident that our research program will make important contributions to the field of geospatial intelligence,” Davis said.

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