MEDIA RELEASE: WVU Tech awarded $40,000 STEM education grant

For Immediate Release
November 7, 2022

Beckley, W. Va. – West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) has received a $40,000 grant to help fund improvements in classroom instruction and hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The $20,000 grant was awarded through the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s Science Technology and Research program and matched with an additional $20,000 through a cost-sharing system from WVU Tech. Only two of these Innovation Grants are awarded in West Virginia.

Dr. Nathan Galinsky, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, Dr. Sihe Zhang, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Dr. Bernhard Bettig, Associate Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering, wrote the grant.

The grant money will allow the purchase and development of a process control system for each engineering program.

“This will enhance our program’s capabilities for teaching process control in a hands-on approach,” said Dr. Galinsky.

“Normally, we use software and simulations as the primary method of teaching students this subject matter. We will also be using these instruments during high school outreach to demonstrate industrial processes to prospective engineering students, as well as during the ACES Bridge program, Camp STEM and on campus-recruitment,” Galinsky explained.

Dr. Tamara Smith, Dean of the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences, says this grant will continue to provide top-notch engineering education to WVU Tech students.

“We are grateful to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission for providing this grant opportunity, and to Dr. Galinsky and his collaborators for pursuing it.  In science and engineering, hands-on learning is critically important.  This innovation grant will improve the curriculum in chemical and mechanical engineering by providing flexible, state-of-the-art equipment for hands-on instruction in process control. This grant award underscores WVU Tech’s commitment to ensuring that our students have a cutting-edge educational experience in preparation to be future leaders and innovators,” says Smith.