University receives grant for research equipment
September 11, 2006 —
Two SVSU professors have received a $453,041 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a new transmission electron microscope (TEM) and a new energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS).
Dr. Robert Tuttle and Professor Sally Shepardson received a grant over the summer that will allow for the purchase of a new TEM that will replace the campus' current 25-year-old microscope.
The new TEM will have the ability to magnify up to 600,000 times the actual size of a given sample in addition to having the ability to magnify key materials utilized in engineering, such as metal, polymers, and ceramic.
Additionally, the purchase of an EDS - a device the University does not currently have - will allow for the analysis of elements, which means one will be able to see how much lead, iron, copper, etc. are in individual samples.
"This is so much easier to use than the equipment I had to use during my doctoral work," Tuttle says.
Only 10 percent of the grants proposed annually are awarded, making the grant SVSU received that much more impressive, according to Shepardson.
"I've worked toward this for 17 years now," she says. "It's quite a pleasure to see that SVSU's research is of such a quality that it is worthy of such support."
The use of the new equipment will not be limited to just biology and chemistry. The engineering and physics departments will also look to utilize the new equipment.
In addition, undergraduates will have the chance to use the new equipment, something Tuttle says is a beneficial experience.
"At most other universities, the opportunity to work with this equipment would be available only to graduate students," Tuttle says. "Here, these devices will be used by undergraduates both in their research and in their coursework, making them better prepared for the workforce.”