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Recent Grants Total $10.6 Million

MIT has received grants totalling more than $10.6 million to support research related to transportation, energy and the development of the Superconducting Super Collider.

The largest award, a five-year, $9.6 million contract from the US Department of Transportation, will be used to support research programs at the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge.

Under the contract, MIT will provide critical skills in information engineering, computer science, and air and ground transportation analysis. The MIT Center for Transportation Studies also will provide access to MIT's Flight Transportation Laboratory with facilities for aviation system simulation, air traffic control and flight test capabilities.

Secretary of Transportation Andrew H. Card Jr. said, "Massachusetts can be proud of having two premier resources in transportation research and analysis working together on the nation's most important transportation initiatives."

Douglas Ham, acting administrator of the agency's Research and Special Programs Administration, said, "Because of this contract, MIT and the Volpe Center will be able to interact in a dynamic partnership to accelerate the progress of critical transportation research."

In connection with the Superconducting Super Collider, MIT received two grants totalling $300,000 from the Texas National Research Laboratory Commission, the Texas agency for the SSC. The grants were among 32 totalling $3 million that will be used to support research teams across the US working to advance the technologies that will be used in the SSC's detector systems.

One of the MIT grants, for $210,000, will help MIT develop and test drift tubes in the Super Collider's GEM detector. Drift tubes are an important part of the SCC detectors used to track muons-elusive subatomic particles that exist for only a fraction of a second after a particle collision. The GEM detector is a sophisticated device that will record the speeds, directions and types of all subatomic particles resulting from high energy proton collisions. The work will be directed by Dr. Louis S. Osborne, professor of physics. Part of a consortium, MIT is working with Louisiana State University on this project.

The second grant, for $90,000, will be used to build a test facility for the GEM detector's Resistive Plate Counter facility. MIT is working with Brown University, Indiana University and the University of Tennessee on this project, which is directed by Dr. Irwin A. Pless, professor of physics.

The energy research grants to MIT were for state-of-the-art scientific instruments.

The awards were announced by Secretary of Energy James D. Watkins, who said that 25 colleges and universities would receive equipment awards totalling more than $4.7 million, to strengthen their ability to conduct long-range, energy-related research.

The grants to MIT went to:

Biology and Chemistry Departments, $230,710 for an automated X-ray imaging system (Dr. Alexander Rich, professor of biophysics and William Thompson Sedgwick Professor of Biology).

Energy Laboratory, $355,940 for a liquid chromatograph/mass spectrometer (Dr. Jack B. Howard, professor of chemical engineering).

Center for Materials Science and Engineering, $119,000 for a PEELS spectrometer (Dr. John B. Vander Sande, Sumitomo Electric Industries Professor of Engineering).

A version of this article appeared in the July 15, 1992 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 37, Number 1).

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