$597,000 grant aides electrical and computer engineering research


A $597,000 grant will be given to Marquette from the U.S. Department of Education Graduate Assistance. (Wire Stock Photo.)

A $597,000 grant will be given to Marquette from the U.S. Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Fellowship Program over a period of three years starting next school year.

According to a university press release, the grant will benefit the department of electrical and computer engineering, supporting graduate students financially and academically. Additionally, Marquette will be matching the grant by 25 percent. 

Kristina Ropella, Opus Dean of the Opus College of Engineering, said the extra money for the grant came from a combined effort from different areas of the college. “This grant will be matched with funds from the office of the vice president for research and innovation, graduate school, Opus College of Engineering, and department of electrical and computer engineering,” Ropella said.

Proposal developers in the Opus College prepared the grant application for the grant team for GAANN. “The department of electrical and computer engineering has received multiple GAANN awards over the past 20 years,” Ropella said.

Susan Schneider, associate professor and director of undergraduate laboratories, said the grant will allow students to grow in technical expertise in a vital research area. “One of the main objectives of the GAANN program is to promote the development of the ‘next generation’ of professors,” Schneider said. 

Students under the GAANN program will have the opportunity to learn from the department of electrical and computer engineering faculty members. “Our faculty are not only impressive researchers in their field but are outstanding teachers committed to learning and growth,” Ropella said.

On top of this, the grant enables students to expand on their work at Marquette. “We are able to support graduate students as they work on their theses or dissertations,” Schneider said.

The press release said that the three-year grant aims to increase the number of students from underrepresented populations in engineering, such as women and minorities.

Ropella said her goal as Opus Dean is to help change the face of engineering. “For a long time, engineering has not been a very diverse industry, yet as engineers, we are working to solve problems for a diverse world,” Ropella said.