The Bloustein School is part of a team from Rutgers that has been awarded a five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to research solutions for Renewable and Sustainable Fuels in the 21st Century, and conduct educational exchange programs between the U.S. and South Africa, Brazil and China. Valued at up to $3.2 million, the grant will support doctoral students, including those who study policy, planning and economic issues, related to clean energy.
The grants are funded under the NSF’s five-year Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program, which supports scientists and engineers who pursue doctorates in fields that cross academic disciplines and have broad societal impact. IGERT programs also support training for underrepresented minorities in order to enhance diversity in the science and engineering workforce.
The Bloustein team is led by one of the co-principal investigators, Frank Felder, director of the Center for Energy, Economic & Environmental Policy. The team also includes Professor Robert Noland, director of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center. The Bloustein School will be responsible for Policy and Logistics, one of four areas of focus in the multi-disciplinary program. Approximately 20 PhD students, starting in their second year of study, will be supported by IGERT fellowships as they progress through the program, Felder said. Each student’s PhD committee will include cross-disciplinary faculty representation.
The New Jersey Sustainable State Institute (NJSSI)
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) awarded NJSSI a $400,000 grant to provide continuing services in support of the Sustainable Jersey Energy program through June 2010. NJSSI will further integrate the BPU’s Clean Energy Programs with Sustainable Jersey, and implement policy development and outreach efforts to municipalities and the public that support the goals of the BPU, the state Energy Master Plan and the Global Warming Response Act.
John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development
The state Department of Education (DOE) awarded the Heldrich Center a $100,000 grant to evaluate the success of the department’s Personalized Student Learning Plan Pilot Program. DOE selected 15 pilot schools across New Jersey to implement the learning plans for the 2009/10 and 2010/11 school years. Under the pilot program, students set learning goals based on their personal, academic and career interests with the close support of their teachers, parents and counselors. The process begins in middle school and continues through high school. A final report is expected in June 2011.
The Heldrich Center was hired by Atlantic Cape Community College to explore workforce demand and educational supply dynamics relative to GIS in southern New Jersey. Under the $85,000 contract, Heldrich will assess the region’s GIS-related workforce and the skill needs of employers. In addition, the center will profile existing GIS training and education offerings at the community college and four-year college levels. The results will then be meshed to identify gaps between employers’ skill needs and the region’s education system.
National Transit Institute (NTI)
The Federal Transit Administration awarded NTI $400,000 in federal stimulus funds to provide project and construction management training for transit professionals. The training is to help transit agencies manage an increased workload brought on by the infusion of $8.4 billion in transit capital funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Bloustein Center for Survey Research (BCSR)
The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services renewed two annual contracts with BCSR worth nearly $120,000 to develop a statewide Birth Defects Reporting System, with a supplemental component for reporting diagnoses of autism. The project involves the creation of a website which can be utilized by medical professionals to report birth defects, and by hospitals and county care coordinators to track children and provide services to them and their families.