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Division of Research

In this Section

Gregory C. Slack, Director of Research and Technology Transfer; Constance M. Ferguson, Grant and Contract Administrator/CAMP Financial Manager; Kimberly Klatt, Research Compliance Officer; Todd C. Travis, Award Administrator and Exchange Visitor Program Alternate Responsible Officer

The Division of Research (DOR) is the central office charged with overseeing the conduct and promotion of research activities at Clarkson University. It is the philosophy of the University that research supports and enhances its educational mission. The DOR strives to provide and constantly enhance services to the Clarkson community as well as individuals and companies that come in contact with the Division. Examples of such services include proposal development for faculty and staff; administration of grants and contracts established under federal, state, and private awards on behalf of the University; assurance of compliance with federal, state, private, and other regulations pertaining to grant sponsorship activities at the University; and the creation, submission, or provision of analyses, reports or policies as required. Through these activities, the DOR promotes innovation and creativity, thereby increasing knowledge and making the knowledge available and useful for scholarship and education. 

Some typical areas of sponsored research in engineering and science include: crystal growth, aerosol kinetics and scavenging, light scattering, stability of colloidal dispersion, strength of materials, metallic systems, ceramic surfaces, phase transitions, bio-engineering, heat transfer and mass transfer, thin film adsorption, film flow stability, transition and turbulence and active flow control, nonlinear wave motion, wave forces, surface shear viscosity, nutrient regeneration in lakes, flow slides, copper and zinc protein, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, oxygenation of metal complexes, asynchronous networks, communication networks, detection of random signals, renewable energy production, power transmission, energy conversion, plasma deposition, osmotic work, and corrosion.

In the business area, studies have been conducted relative to dispute settlement techniques, scientific and technical information systems, effects of organizational changes, economic impact of environmental damage from acid rain, marketing approaches, pricing environmental alternatives, banking systems, and monetary policies.


A New York State Center for Advanced Technology
S.V. Babu, Director; John E. Prendergast, Deputy Director

The essential roles of advanced materials in modern manufacturing include producing “small” particles for advanced ceramics, photo-imaging and inks and medical diagnostics; fabricating integrated circuit chips and electronic packages for computers; producing high-performance plastics and composites for aircraft, and myriad other uses.

Since its inception in 1986, the Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP) has been dedicated to developing Clarkson’s research and education programs in high-technology materials processing. The Center emphasizes development of scientific and technological expertise in the field of colloids, thin films and surfaces. CAMP researchers produce, modify and convert solids and liquids for which “small” particles, colloidal media or surfaces play an important role, either in the processing or in the properties of the final product. CAMP is an interdisciplinary endeavor, bringing together participants from six departments of science and engineering.

CAMP was designated a New York State Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) in 1987. As one of the 15 CATs at New York State universities, CAMP receives one million dollars per year from the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research for applied research, technology transfer and operating expenses. In addition, CAMP-related work receives several million dollars each year from the federal government and private industry. CAMP places a particularly strong emphasis on cooperative projects with industry, including exchange programs for students, scientists, and engineers. Materials processing activities at Clarkson include undergraduate projects, educational lectures and seminars by international experts, special short courses, and research by graduate students, research associates, and visiting scientists from around the world.

A building funded by New York State was completed in 1991 to house CAMP’s educational and research activities. Occupying 190,000 square feet and containing 70 laboratories, 102 offices, and a variety of special facilities and equipment, the complex is a valuable resource for promoting cooperative research projects with New York State industries.

For more information, check out the CAMP Web site at

Vladimir Privman, Director

As the dimensions of computer components become smaller, quantum effects will have to be accounted for in transport equations used for device modeling. Coherent quantum dynamics (quantum computing) has promise of speeding up certain information processing tasks. The Center for Quantum Device Technology was established at Clarkson in the fall of 2001 to address these and related challenges.

The goal of the Center is to devise comprehensive modeling approaches within the new developing semiconductor solid-state physics needed in device design, with the potential to offer new paradigms for fast and low-power computation, new uses of semiconductor materials, secure information transmission — with implications for future utilization of semiconductor devices, optical fibers, very short pulse lasers, single-photon detectors, and spintronics devices.

James S. Bonner, Director

The Clarkson Institute for a Sustainable Environment is home to Clarkson’s environmental research activities; graduate degree programs with a focus on environmental science, environmental engineering, policy; campus environmental initiatives; and outreach programs.   

Recognizing that environmental problems increasingly require the expertise of many disciplines and points of view, the Center promotes partnerships and interdisciplinary activities that enable the integration of basic and applied research, providing the increased understanding about environmental systems that is needed for informed decisions and policies. Faculty members from all of Clarkson’s Schools (Arts & Sciences, Business, and Engineering) are affiliated with the Center.

Research conducted under the Center includes a wide range of environmental science, engineering and policy issues. Current major emphases are housed in the Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science (CARES). Some of the other research areas include the fate of pollutants in air, water, and soil systems; treatment technologies; fluid flow in environmental systems; and sustainable energy systems.

A student majoring in any desired field can concentrate electives in a compatible environmentally related area such as Environmental Engineering (p. 149), Environmental Health Science (p. 171) or Environmental Science and Policy (p. 167). Graduate students may obtain an M.S. or Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering (ESE).

The Clarkson Institute for a Sustainable Environment sponsors workshops and seminars to foster links among its members and facilitate environmental activities. Outreach activities include the University’s sustainability initiative, a K-12 Project-Based Learning outreach program that introduces middle school students to environmental problem solving and research experiences for undergraduate students.

Further information can be found at

Philip K. Hopke, Director; Thomas M. Holsen, Co-Director

The presence of contaminants in the atmosphere can produce a wide variety of adverse effects including increased adverse public health effects, decreased visibility, deterioration of buildings and monuments, acificiation of lakes and rivers, and forest and crop damage. The health effects of atmospheric contaminants cannot be avoided by staying inside since ambient air is transported indoors along with its pollutants while indoor sources can add to the problems. Although we have substantially improved the ambient air quality over the past 35 years, there are still a number of problems that are attributed to air pollution. Recent studies have found strong correlations between changes in particle concentrations and increased mortality. There has been a sharp rise in childhood asthma, and many areas of the country continue to fail to meet national ambient air quality standards. Worldwide much of the world's air quality fails to meet the quality specified by the World Health Organization's guidelines.

Clarkson University has significant resources in people and equipment to bring to bear on the management of air pollution. These resources have been combined with those of a consortium of universities and research organizations to form the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (CoEEES). CoEEES brings together multidisciplinary teams of investigators to measure, model, and suggest implementation strategies that will lead to improved atmospheric conditions including the ambient atmosphere, indoor atmospheres in homes and hospitals, and controlled atmospheres in commercial manufacturing operations and office workplaces. In this process, we are developing new modeling, measurement, and flow management tools that can provide the base for new or expanded commercial ventures as well as providing critical information to state and federal regulatory authorities that will help to improve the quality of life for New Yorkers. CARES is the center that brings together the world-class expertise that is available at Clarkson as part of CoEEES. Our expertise is focused in air sampling and analysis, receptor modeling, atmospheric deposition, and the application of experimental and computational fluid dynamics to air pollution problems. CARES laboratory and office space, and equipment including an aerosol wind tunnel, a high-speed aeronautical wind tunnel, a Beowolf computer cluster, field sampling systems, and analytical equipment are available to programs at Clarkson and throughout CoEEES's other participating institutions.

Michael Twiss, Director

Clarkson University faculty and researchers have a distinguished history of investigating and engineering solutions to a broad range of issues involving the lower Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. Clarkson is best known for contributing to the solution of environmental problems such as eutrophication, toxic chemical pollution, and corrective measures to remediate contaminated environments; to the solution of water resources management concerns related to navigability for commerce and power generation, especially as affected by winter conditions and the formation and dynamics of ice; and for addressing socioeconomic issues such as binational trade and cultural concerns.

These activities have been undertaken by teams comprising faculty members, graduate students and undergraduates using Clarkson facilities and often involving collaborators from several other universities in New York State via the Great Lakes Research Consortium. Not only do these efforts create new knowledge that is essential to the education of students who pursue B.S., M.S., M.E. and Ph.D. degrees and to the professional development of the faculty members, this work provides environmental and economic benefits to the people of the region, the nation and, indeed, the international community.

Recognizing the multiplicative effect of interdisciplinary collaboration, in 1999 Clarkson initiated actions that resulted in the establishment of the Great Rivers Center on the Clarkson campus. The Great Rivers Center is integrated into the education, research and outreach missions of the Clarkson Institute for a Sustainable Environment.

Charles Robinson, Director

The Center for Rehabilitation Engineering, Science and Technology was established at Clarkson University in 2005.  Its mission is to educate, mentor and train students to be able to integrate and apply a combined scientific, analytic, technological and business approach to emerging biomedical engineering and biomedical science areas. It is of note that biomedical engineering is the most rapidly growing field of engineering, with outstanding biomedical job prospects, and with half of the undergraduates being female, a ratio that exists in no other engineering discipline. 

The Center for Rehabilitation Engineering, Science and Technology takes a unique approach to the study of rehabilitation problems. First, through its focus on biomedical engineering, the Center studies how the nervous and skeletal muscle systems of the human body normally work. Secondly, through its rehabilitation science and technology components, it models the mechanisms by which these systems become impaired through disease or injury. Within its rehabilitation technology aspects, the Center investigates how technology can help to restore or replace functions such as hearing, speaking, seeing or moving through the use of artificial assistive or substitutive devices. Through a clinical link with Clarkson’s Physical Therapy program, the Center investigates the outcome of the applications of this assistive technology. The Center also organizes and presents seminars, campus lectures and classroom discussions by visiting leaders in the field of rehabilitation. 

Medical and health care have become increasingly technology-based in recent years, with an increased demand for engineers with skills that integrate engineering principles with an understanding of the human physical and psychosocial characteristics. The Center for Rehabilitation Engineering, Science and Technology offers a concentration in Biomedical and Rehabilitation Engineering to meet this need.  Obtaining an engineering degree with a concentration in biomedical and rehabilitation engineering is an attractive opportunity for university bound engineering students who have a strong desire to use their talents to improve the quality of life for people with medical conditions or disabilities. Clarkson offers this concentration to augment a degree from a traditional engineering department. This concentration is multi-disciplinary, and will include courses from multiple schools or departments across the University. The Biomedical and Rehabilitation Engineering Concentration is just one of the examples addressing Clarkson’s Coulter School of Engineering’s motto “Technology Serving Humanity.”

Further information can be found at


On the ground floor of Bertrand H. Snell Hall, the Center for Excellence in Communication (CEC) offers Clarkson students and faculty support for communication education across the curriculum, including graphics, analog and digital video and writing. The CEC has two primary missions: First, the CEC serves as a support facility for Clarkson’s goal of providing each student with the opportunity to develop and refine exceptional communication skills. Second, the CEC helps improve education through the effective pedagogical use of electronic media.

CEC staff assist faculty and students on communication-related teaching and research including communication-across-the-curriculum consulting, usability testing, educational video production, and more. In addition to onsite work across Clarkson University, the CEC includes five teaching, working, and learning areas on the first floor of new Snell Hall.

  1. The CEC Lab (Snell 130) provides studio-style classroom space for communication and digital media software training for up to 21 students in a setting augmented by 22 Windows and Linux workstations as well as an instructional projection system. The CEC Lab also houses teamwork spaces and a client presentation area — including a 72-inch touchscreen Windows and Linux workstation with electronic whiteboard capabilities — in order to support project-based learning and service learning. The workstations in the CEC Lab also include basic digital video editing capabilities. In addition to drop-in hours for communication projects, the CEC Lab and staff are available for communication-related research, classes, and projects on an individually scheduled basis.
  2. The CEC Advanced Multimedia Room (Snell 130E) offers individuals and small teams access to professional-level editing hardware and software for communication projects (both research and educational) involving extensive digital video and audio. Editing platforms include both PC and Mac.
  3. The CEC Usability Lab (Snell 130B) provides a dedicated space for conducting software, documentation and Web-site usability research. The Usability Lab includes systems for monitoring, recording and analyzing users’ experiences and compiling usability reports for clients.
  4. The CEC Writing Center (Snell 139) provides individual tutoring (both face-to-face and online) for students and members of the Clarkson community working to improve personal or academic writing projects in any discipline.
  5. The CEC Media Studio (Snell 127) offers a fully equipped distance education classroom, digital audio recording capability, Internet streaming teleconference technologies, and serves as the primary control system for Clarkson’s on-campus, closed-circuit television station.


    As we move forward in the global economy, the challenges facing the business community have become more technically complex and require a multidisciplinary approach to problem solving. The Center for Global Competitiveness (CGC) was created to ensure the University’s continued leadership position in these areas. Given the longstanding reputation of Clarkson University in the areas of technology, innovation and business leadership, the CGC is continually looking for emerging or proven practical concepts to explore, research, develop and share. Previously, the Center was successful as an incubator for the Global Supply Chain Management initiative, which has resulted in the undergraduate CUSB and E&M concentration being recognized by U.S. News and World Report’s “Top Supply Chain Programs” list for five (5) consecutive years. Now, fully embedded in the University’s academic structure, the CGC is currently developing concepts for new opportunities to share its expertise with students and external constituencies. Business strategy is increasingly carried out via a series of projects, many of an extremely technical nature. The synergy created through this center allows Clarkson to educate undergraduate and graduate students, as well as young professionals and corporate executives, in a seamless manner that reflects the realities of tomorrow’s workplace.

    Specifically, the Center’s current focus is two areas. One is a new initiative that is exploring the merger with traditional quality management principles and tools with the rapidly growing field of program and project management. The second is a long-term international economic development specialty for nearly 20 years. Here are the programs in summary:
  6. Project Management Professional Development (PMPD) Programs — Development of  emerging and career-focused project management professionals. Project management initiatives  will provide the necessary expertise that our graduates need to meet the challenges of designing,  financing, procuring, producing, marketing and distributing high-quality projects in the  construction, product development and information technology areas to customers throughout  the world.  The PMPD program will focus on the following key activities:
    • Integration of quality management principles, tools and techniques within the context of the field of project management. Employ “Design for Six Sigma” methodologies within the Project Life Cycle. Special emphasis on project management for product development, construction and information technology.
    • Deliver a state-of-the-art, project-focused curriculum in the interdisciplinary E&M program as well as the rest of the University. Provide students with classroom experiences in technology management, project financials, market analysis and other primary business knowledge. Add to that base, higher order planning and problem solving skills.
    • Provide assistance to students and their academic advisors for the University-wide minor in project management. Work with students as they prepare for the Project Management Institute's "Certified Associate Project Manager" examination.
    • Develop and facilitate world-class project management preparation for career oriented individuals, especially those requiring professional certification — from initial quality and project credentialing to professional certification readiness for future project leaders.
    • Work with companies and other organizations to evaluate specific project problem areas and develop product and service concepts that will help them better meet customer needs and facilitate organizational learning.
  7. The Center for Canadian-U.S. Business Studies — established in 1987. Director: Martin Heintzelman ( This Center provides a rich educational and research environment that focuses on developing student and faculty awareness and knowledge of economic and business relations between Canada and  the U.S.  By promoting and facilitating collaboration among business, government and academic  institutions from both sides of the border, the Center enables all parties to achieve greater  understanding of the two nations’ business and economic environments and their positions in  the global marketplace. The study of Canada-U.S. business relations has been an integral part  of Clarkson’s graduate business programs for more than a decade through the annual Graduate  Business Forum. In addition, academic government and industry representatives from both  countries conduct seminars to present ideas and collaborate on various issues throughout the  year. Finally, students and faculty pursue research on a broad range of topics, including free  trade, comparisons of business costs between the two countries and analyze strategies that  firms in one country can employ to best enter the other country’s market.
More information about the Center for Global Competitiveness can be obtained at, or contact the School of Business Dean's Office at 315-268-2300.

Daniel T. Valentine, Director

The National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) established the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1989 under a mandate of the U.S. Congress. The Space Grant Program reinforces NASA’s commitment to space-related science and engineering education by designating Space Grant Colleges-Consortia throughout the United States.

Clarkson joined with Cornell University in January 1990 to form the New York Space Grant Consortium. The space grant designation recognizes that the participants are substantially involved in a broad spectrum of NASA research, offer advanced study in aerospace fields, and are significantly active in related public service. The space grant, one of the first 17 awarded nationwide, provides funding to the consortium to develop unique technical capabilities and to encourage the participation of aeronautical and aerospace corporations in this initiative.

The primary focus of the Clarkson Space Grant Program is the enhancement of undergraduate and graduate education in space-related fields. The program aims to attract highly qualified students to space-related technical studies. We help undergraduates, primarily juniors, find summer research internships at universities within the consortium and at NASA facilities. Two areas of research are of particular interest: (1) fluid dynamics problems that arise in aeronautical engineering systems; and (2) nonlinear problems that arise in materials processing and other fluids engineering applications.

Lawrence Schulman, Director

The Clarkson Institute for Statistical Physics focuses on a common approach to a variety of scientific disciplines, including biology, astrophysics, neurology, cosmology, and the traditional areas of chemistry and physics. About a half dozen faculty members are involved, as well as research associates and undergraduate and graduate students.

An early problem solved by the techniques of statistical physics is the collective motion of atoms in a gas. It has provided experience in the way in which the properties of a complex many-constituent system may have simpler, emergent features that do not require detailed knowledge of the microscopic constituents. A common example of such an emergent feature is the collective behavior that leads to liquefication. The same techniques can be applied to other multiconstituent systems: neurons in the brain, galaxies in the universe, buyers and sellers in a market, links on the Internet, or wiring schemes for large computer chips. The need to go beyond traditional measures of order has been strongly felt in recent years as the scientific community tries to quantify the notion of complexity. At Clarkson, particular attention is being paid to biological complexity, as manifested in ecological systems and to societal complexity as derived from networks, such as the Internet. Members of the Institute perform research on these and many other topics.

Student research, both graduate and undergraduate (funded through the National Science Foundation) has also been wide-ranging, including studies of catalysis, biological membranes, large-scale structure of the universe, vulnerability of the electronic Web, nonlinear crystal relaxation, and spectral properties of the song of whales.

Liya L. Regel, Director; William R. Wilcox, Associate Director

The International Center for Gravity Materials Science and Applications was established at Clarkson University in 1991. Its objective is to encourage international collaboration on research involving the influence of gravity on materials processing. Research is carried on in the laboratory, in space, and in large centrifuges. The first centrifuge in the world dedicated to materials processing research and to related flow visualization was constructed at Clarkson University in 1993.

Projects are described at Most recently, diamond crystals have been grown at low temperature and pressure on plastics, glass, metals and graphite, resulting in a U.S. patent in 2006 with others pending.

The Center has organized and hosted four international workshops, with publication of conference proceedings. Over a thousand scientists from around the world have participated in Center activities, including 10 visiting professors who did collaborative research here.

The Center has received grants from NASA, NSF, New York State, corporations and funding from private individuals. Twenty-four Ph.D. and 35 M.S. students completed their research in the Center and are now holding responsible positions in industry, government and academia around the world.

Timothy F. Sugrue, Managing Director; Goodarz Ahmadi, Director of Technology; Jessica Kelly, Deputy Director

The Shipley Center for Innovation, affiliated with the School of Business, is a University-wide resource dedicated to bringing Clarkson innovations to market, gaining recognition for the technology created by our faculty and students, and creating local jobs for graduating Clarkson students. The Center will serve as an engine for economic development in the North Country by engaging in the creation of new enterprises that capitalize on emerging technologies. 

Leading the Shipley Center as its managing director is Timothy Sugrue, dean of the School of Business, and Goodarz Ahmadi, dean of the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering, as its director of technology, bringing together complementary knowledge from both areas into one resource.

The Shipley Center for Innovation will be comprised of a museum with Clarkson University’s past technology on display, a workshop for future technology to be developed, and a business incubator. The business incubator will provide the essential tools needed for the emerging technologies to be commercialized and developed into profitable companies.