October 10, 2016

Research symposium focuses on emerging technologies, innovation

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The third ASA Multidisciplinary Research Symposium, hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s College of Applied Sciences and Arts, features an expanded lineup and location change. 

This year’s event, “Emerging Technologies: Innovation in the Applied Sciences and Arts,” will take place at the Transportation Education Center on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14-15. 

The symposium’s primary goal is to support and promote research within the college, Dean Andy Wang said. The first two events, in the Student Center, had about 40 people in 2014 and more than 140 in 2015. The growth prompted a recommendation to expand the symposium to two days, and Wang hopes the series grows “into a national forum for researchers in applied sciences and arts.” 

The symposium is from 10 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Friday, and 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, with the awards presentation and closing remarks starting at 3:30 p.m. The event schedule and brief descriptions of presentations are available at http://research.asa.siu.edu/symposium/event%20schedule.php

Chad Schwartz, assistant professor, School of Architecture, and Karen Johnson, associate professor, aviation technologies, are symposium co-chairs this year. 

“I strongly believe that research is a vital component of education, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels,” Wang said. “Faculty can use research results in teaching, integrating cutting-edge technologies in their curriculum, engaging students in research and development, and providing students with essential skills to become effective citizens. Research can play a key role in students’ learning, their education experience and technical skills development. The research reputation of the university is a strong driver for the recruitment of high achieving students as well as international students, especially for graduate programs.” 

The panel discussions on Friday center on unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and sustainable mobility for rural small university towns. There will also be a workshop on strategies for seeking grants. 

The keynote presentations are Saturday. Geory Kurtzhals, the university’s sustainability coordinator, will present one keynote address that looks at the relationship between sustainability and innovation in the applied sciences and arts. Stanley Young, an advanced transportation and urban scientist with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., will discuss, “Planning for a Sustainable Surface Transportation System in an Uncertain Future.” 

In addition, there will be nine sessions throughout the day in areas that include automotive, aviation, education and student success, design, information technology, and sustainability. A total of 25 separate presentations in those areas feature faculty and staff from SIU Carbondale, Middle Tennessee State University, the University of Kansas, University of Kentucky, Fontbonne University, and students from Carbondale Community High School. 

There will also be student posters on display and a student poster competition. 

Event sponsors are the university’s Office of Workforce Innovation and Research and the Graduate School, Southern Illinois Healthcare, TAC Air, Eggemeyer Associates Architects, Inc., and FWAI Architects, Inc.