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Grant awards top $28 million through January

March 10, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University won nearly $6.5 million in externally funded grants during the months of November, December and January, WMU trustees learned during their March 9 meeting. The seven-month fiscal-year total, July 2005 through January, for grants is more than $28.4 million.

The biggest chunk of externally funded awards came in the form of research grants to WMU. Research grants totaled a little more than $4.8 million, with notable awards coming from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The largest research grant was for $938,580 from Kalamazoo Community Mental Health Services to Drs. Victoria Curtis, Rachel Whaley and David Hartmann of the WMU Department of Sociology. The grant is to conduct a quasi-experimental design for assessing program outcomes and evaluating interventions.

Other research grants include a continuing grant to Dr. James Hillenbrand, professor of speech pathology and audiology, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for $389,797 to develop a series of acoustic analysis and speech recognition experiments. The study will improve understanding of conceptual mechanisms underlying phonetic recognition.

Another new grant, this one for $224,522 from the Michigan Department of Transportation, is going to a team of engineers: Dr. Sherif Yehia, assistant professor of construction engineering, materials engineering and industrial design; Dr. Osama Abudayyeh, associate dean of the WMU College of Engineering and Applied Sciences; and Dr. Ikhlas Abdel-Qader, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. Their project will evaluate the innovative technique of rapid bridge replacement using full-depth, pre-cast concrete panels, which could drastically cut the time of closure to repair bridges, reducing the cost of repair and inconvenience to motorists.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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