UD Day in DC
UD roadshow of federally funded research hits Washington
4:33 p.m., March 19, 2013--In one corner of the room University of Delaware researchers described the cyber security and defense work they are doing to help protect the country; in another, they talked about helping amputees and those battling Parkinson’s disease.
These were among the 29 different teams of faculty members and graduate students displaying their work inside the Russell Senate Office Building’s Kennedy Caucus Room last week. It was the site of University of Delaware Day in DC, a roadshow of UD’s federally funded research projects, organized by the Research Office.
Learning from leeches
The 300 attendees included alumni, staffers representing several congressional offices and federal program officials representing various federal agencies, as well as Delaware's congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. John Carney and U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons.
“The great work you are doing, one of the hundred top universities in the United States in federally-sponsored research, is encouraging to all of us,” Coons said. “It’s an important part of a brighter future.”
The event’s displays represented the broad range of research conducted at UD with emphasis on four core areas: defense, health, energy and the environment. In addition, partnerships, outreach and commercialization efforts were featured to show the broad impact of UD research.
UD Day in DC is held once every two years and while its timing, just days after sequestration went into effect, is merely coincidental, attendees, including UD President Patrick Harker, noted it is serendipitous.
“With deep cuts to federally funded research and development, UD remains anxious for Congress to come to agreement on a ‘grand bargain,’” Harker said. “We want to show you what this critical investment in the University has yielded, and why it’s so important to save federal R&D.”
Rafael Gorospe from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences within the National Institutes of Health came to see the progress made in a program he oversees.
“It gives us the opportunity to have some gauge of the impact and see it up close,” Gorospe said.
Attendees enjoyed food and drinks and many topped of the night with a favorite indulgence of Blue Hens – ice cream from the UDairy Creamery. While nibbling, they interacted with UD researchers who said the gathering helps them get feedback on their work and showcase what they are doing to make the world a better place.
“These kind of outings are really good for our scientists to be able to show what they are doing in relation to the public needs, the societal needs,” said Mohsen Badiey, deputy dean in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.
Article by Andrea Boyle Tippett
Photos by Evan Krape