February 2021: Continuing to Move ClemsonForward

Tanju Karanfil
Tanju Karanfil

You continue to make big news, despite the unrelenting pressures of a global health pandemic that has uprooted all of our norms.

Consider a few examples of the major accomplishments I was able to report to the University’s Board of Trustees last month:

  • The U.S. Department of Energy awarded a 10-year, $3.8 billion contract for an alliance that includes Clemson to manage the Savannah River Nuclear Laboratory near Aiken. This is the first time the lab has ever been managed separately from the Savannah River Site. Through this partnership, Clemson will be a key player in the nation’s energy, environmental, and national security research and workforce development efforts.
  • Clemson faculty have earned numerous high-value awards in the past several months, including $16 million to support the development of autonomous military vehicles, $5 million to conduct specialty crop research, and $3 million for teacher development support. The diversity of disciplines earning these high-value awards is impressive.
  • The photo shows a Clemson student holding an orange Clemson flag with a white tiger paw. The image includes the text "Research Report, Board of Trustees, January 2021". Click the photo to view the report.
    The January 2021 Research Report to the Board of Trustee highlights Clemson research accomplishments.

    Clemson faculty, students and alumni are earning significant national and international recognition. Clemson professor Aleda Roth had a national research award named in her honor. Two Clemson Science graduates were named among the nation’s 12 rising stars by Chemical & Engineering News. Professor Hala Nassar is one of just four professionals from across the country to be named a 2020 Fellow by the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture.

  • In just a few months, Clemson faculty raced to validate new COVID-19 tests and establish a CLIA-certified lab that has been a great benefit to the University and the surrounding community, as well as a unique learning resource for students and an innovation hub for future Clemson research.

These are just a few examples of the outstanding work you are doing. You can read more about these achievements and others in my quarterly report to the Board of Trustees here. At the meeting, Trustee Joe Swann, who chairs the Board’s Research and Economic Development Committee, and other trustees in attendance applauded your efforts to advance research at Clemson, as did President Clements.

Despite all this great news, I know the pandemic has created hardships, both personally and professionally. I hope you will find programs at the Division of Research helpful as you advance your research portfolios. Our R-Initiative programs have invested nearly $6 million in research projects involving 250 faculty members since 2017. These programs have helped faculty from all colleges publish books, conduct art exhibits, acquire equipment and hire research faculty. We are currently soliciting proposals for numerous R-Initiative programs.

Our Office of Research Development has also developed a series of professional development workshops designed to help you advance your research. I encourage you to attend these virtual sessions, and if you have missed one, you can watch past workshops online.

The collage shows a presenter speaking at the Research Symposium, listeners sitting in the auditorium, two faculty members speaking in the lobby, and Clemson President Jim Clements presenting an award to Clemson faculty member Rhondda Thomas.Additionally, I encourage you to attend the Research Symposium May 4. This will be a hybrid online and in-person event. The event brings together faculty from all colleges and the libraries to share ideas and form collaborations. My Faculty Advisory Board is seeking ideas for symposium topics. The Symposium theme this year is “Collaborate! Global problems, human solutions.” When thinking of symposium sessions, please consider topics that will bring researchers with similar interests together to foster new collaborations. Examples of potential session themes include: AI and ethics; pandemic readiness, response, and resilience; emergent knowledge from big data research; food, energy, and water in a changing world: security and scarcity; global movements and migrations; and translating local and regional problems into a global context.

The ideas for symposium topics can be sent by Feb. 26 to Sarah White, Erin Goss and Penny Reid. I hope to see you there.

Thank you for your continued support of scholarship and discovery at Clemson.

Go Tigers!

–Tanju