Research Tracks

A publication of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Baylor University

Video: Baylor faculty & graduate students explain what makes the BRIC an ideal setting for research and discovery

May 19, 2015 by Baylor OVPR | 0 comments

Faculty and graduate students explain how the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) benefits their research in a new video produced by the Baylor Graduate School.  Check out the video above, then click here to learn more about the BRIC.

February 5, 2015
by Baylor OVPR
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Department of Energy offers Graduate Student Research Grants for 2015

DOEThe Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science is now accepting applications for the 2015 Science Graduate Student Research Grants (SCGSR). Applications are due on Tuesday, April 14, 2015.

The SCGSR program supports supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE national laboratory in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist for a period of 3 to 12 consecutive months—with the goal of preparing graduate students for scientific and technical careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission.

The SCGSR program is open to current Ph.D. students in qualified graduate programs at accredited U.S. academic institutions who are conducting their graduate thesis research in targeted areas of importance to the DOE Office of Science. The research opportunity is expected to advance the graduate students’ overall doctoral thesis while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories. The supplemental award provides for additional, incremental costs for living and travel expenses directly associated with conducting the SCGSR research project at the DOE host laboratory during the award period.

The Office of Science expects to make approximately 100 awards in 2015, for project periods beginning anytime between Oct. 2015 and Sept. 2016.

Click here to view detailed information about the program including eligibility requirements and access to the online application system.

February 18, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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Graduate student wins award from industry group for her engineering research

A Baylor graduate student recently earned a scholarship award from the Society of Plastics Engineers for her research on nondestructive testing methods for fiber-reinforced, laminate composites.

Sarah Stair discusses her research with Dr. David Jack, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering in Baylor's School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Sarah Stair discusses composite materials research with Dr. David Jack in the mechanical engineering department’s lab at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC).

Sarah Stair, a second-year graduate student in mechanical engineering, was one of three students selected by the organizing committee for the SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) for the group’s annual SPE ACCE Scholarship Awards for the 2013-2014 academic year.  The award was based on her research project, “Non-Destructive Characterization of Ply Orientation and Ply Type of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Laminates.”

Stair says advanced composite parts are composed of many layers or “plys,” which are lined up in a particular way so that the finished part has the strength and rigidity necessary to accomplish its function.  While engineers can make predictions about the final part’s strength based on its design, imperfections in the final manufactured product can create sections with unknown properties.

That’s where Stair’s research comes in.

“When manufacturing composite products, the manufactured parts don’t always meet as-designed specs,” says Stair, who earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Baylor in 2012. “For example, during molding, a ply might slip and rotate from its designated orientation, which could affect the properties of the manufactured part. My research will determine the ‘as-manufactured’ orientation of each lamina in a fiber-reinforced part and the failure envelope associated with the manufactured part.”

Stair’s long-term plan is to develop a hand-held device that technicians can use to determine the failure envelope of an installed part without having to remove it from the car or airplane where it is in use.  Such a device could be extremely helpful to automotive or aerospace repair technicians, as well as to quality-control personnel working for companies that manufacture composite parts.

The SPE scholarship is the latest in a long line of awards Stair has earned for her research.  She was a top-four finalist in the best paper/presentation category at the American Society for Composites’ Annual Technical Conference.  She also earned a prestigious graduate travel grant from the National Science Foundation to present her work at the American Society for Mechanical Engineering’s International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition.  Stair was one of only 45 students to receive the NSF award from a pool of 750 applicants.

Dr. David Jack, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering in Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, is Stair’s research mentor.   He says that because of the high quality of Stair’s research and her advanced presentation skills, awards like these are anything but surprising.

“Sarah is working on her master’s degree, but she routinely wins awards where she’s competing against doctoral students,” says Jack.  “At conferences, people who hear her presentations always ask me if she’s a doctoral student or post-doctoral researcher.  She’s a great ambassador for our graduate program.”

August 20, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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NIH to require eRA Commons IDs for graduate and undergraduate students

A new policy from the National Institutes of Health will require graduate and undergraduate students working on NIH-funded projects to set up eRA Commons IDs.

The new policy will be implemented in three phases over the next 14 months:

  • Currently, graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to establish eRA Commons accounts.
  • On Oct. 18, 2013, the PHS 2590 and Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) forms will start prompting for this information. Warnings will also appear in eRA Commons screens to alert students that they need to establish an ID.
  • By October 2014, all RPPRs must have eRA Commons IDs for graduate and undergraduate students or the reports won’t be accepted by NIH.

Baylor investigators working on NIH-funded research projects are encouraged to help their students establish eRA Commons accounts as soon as possible.

Click here to read the full notice from NIH. Contact the Office of Sponsored Programs at 254-710-3817 for more information.