July 24, 2008

FSU-PC Lands Large NSF Grant

By Donna Vavala, The News Herald, Panama City, Fla.

Jul. 24--PANAMA CITY -- Florida State University-Panama City is celebrating its largest federal grant ever. Dean George DePuy announced Wednesday the university is receiving a $512,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, or NSF. The grant will pay up to $7,500 per academic year for 30 students enrolled in the school's electrical, computer and civil or environmental engineering programs, over a threeyear period, based on financial need and academics. The recipients must be U.S. citizens.

The first 10 scholarships will be awarded to students enrolled in the programs in the fall of 2009. In 2010, 10 more scholarships will be awarded. The final 10 scholarships will be handed out in 2011. The scholarship criteria and award processes, the internship/work study programs and professional networking opportunities for grant recipients will be developed during the 2008-09 school year.

"This grant will increase the number of engineering graduates from our campus," DePuy said. "The grant will provide more opportunities for residents of Northwest Florida and is a grand thing for our community."

There are about 80 students enrolled in the engineering program, said Korhan Adalier, principal investigator of the NSF grant and coordinator of the civil and environmental engineering program at the Panama City campus.

DePuy said the number of engineering graduates produced locally will attract new companies offering high-paying jobs.

"Eighty percent of our engineering graduates are working in Northwest Florida, so there are clearly jobs here for them," he said.

He added the Naval Support Warfare Center-Panama City, Tyndall Air Force Base, Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field and many defense contractors are located within about 50 miles of the campus.

"Florida State University-Panama City is a critically important link to sustain technical capability in current and emerging science, technology, engineering and mathematics," said Delbert "Ace " Summey, technical director of Naval Surface Warfare Center. "Without a strong relationship with FSU-PC, our ability to meet long-term national Department of Defense objectives would be severely impacted."

Although the university received state funding to construct its new engineering building, it still is in need of lab equipment, said Associate Dean Ken Shaw.

"We need $600,000 for state-of-the-art lab equipment, and we have raised $250,000 to date," Shaw said. "I would like to raise the remainder by the end of December. We've been approaching business leaders."


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