CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico Research Foundation Partners With Private Industry Council to Oversee $1 Million in Federal Funding

Date: 12-03-2009

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico’s Research Foundation has received more than $1 million in federal funding via the Butte County Private Industry Council.

Programs receiving funding range from training programs for nurses and geospatial mapping technicians to research into high-altitude wind power and home energy-saving devices.
Four of the funded programs are based at the newly formed Cleantech Innovation Center (CIC) at the Oroville Airport Park. The funding through 2011 for those programs totals $599,000.

In addition, CSU, Chico’s School of Nursing received $485,000 through 2011 for expanding its LVN to BSN program and for the California Rural Nurse Re-entry Residency program.

The CIC-based programs are the Zero Energy Home Project, directed by Greg Kallio, professor of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, CSU, Chico College of Engineering, Computer Science and Construction Management (ECC); the Energy Management and Control Laboratory, directed by Adel Ghandakly, chair of Electrical and Computer engineering, CSU, Chico College of ECC; the Wind and Weather Lab, directed by Cristina Archer, professor in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, CSU, Chico College of Natural Sciences; and the Geospatial Workforce Training Program, led by Chris Lewis, training manager, CSU, Chico Geographic Information Center.

“Our Chico State faculty are tremendously enthusiastic about the research and training they’re doing at the CIC,” said Katie Milo, vice provost for research at CSU, Chico. “They have new labs and opportunities to investigate problems that are so critical to our planet and people.”

The CIC, also known as the Energy Farm, is the first flagship project of the BayTEC Alliance, a public-private organization aimed at driving the transformation of the 16 counties of Northern California into a world-recognized center of excellence in clean technology and alternative energy. The CIC had a ground-breaking for its first projects on Oct. 26.

The Private Industry Council (PIC) of Butte County is a private, nonprofit corporation governed by a 19-member board comprised of private and public sector representatives appointed by the county Board of Supervisors. The PIC administers federal and state Work Force Investment Act funds for employment and job training and related programs and services.

Following are additional details about the funded projects:

• The Zero Energy Home Project aims to develop cost-effective, energy-saving measures in new home construction and existing home retrofits. The project will test energy-efficient components and designs, on-site renewable energy and operational strategies.

• The Energy Management and Control Laboratory will house technical support and research activities in the new industry of integrating the renewable energy resources of photovoltaic arrays and wind turbines for residential, commercial and industrial applications. The program includes developing a computer simulation model for feasibility and economical assessment of integrating those energy sources into the power system grid.

• The Wind and Weather Lab will conduct research on a variety of wind-related topics, including measurements of wind and temperature on a four-level meteorological tower installed at the CIC. The project includes plans for the creation of the state’s first small wind test center.

• The Geospatial Workforce Training Program will provide a 17-week course in geospatial technology, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Location Based Services (LBS). Students accepted into the program will receive the training and required workbooks at no cost. Those who complete the training, paid internship and examination will earn a GIS Technician Certification. For more information, e-mail cclewis@csuchico.edu or call 530-898‐4469.

• The LVN to BSN program, started in 2007, expands opportunities for licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) in the North State to become registered nurses (RNs) and earn their bachelor’s degrees at CSU, Chico’s School of Nursing. The new funding has allowed the program to accommodate an additional 10 students, which raises the total in the program to 48.

• California Rural Nurse Re-entry Residency program provides a refresher course in acute care training for registered nurses who may have been working in home health or other non-acute care areas or have been out of the profession. The program, which includes a three-month online course and optional preceptorship, is designed to allow nurses to be more employable in hospital settings. For more information on the LVN to BSN and California Rural Nurse Re-entry Residency programs, call the School of Nursing at 530-898-5891.

The nonprofit CSU, Chico Research Foundation, incorporated in 1997 as an auxiliary to the University, manages more than 600 grant and contract accounts each year, many staffed by student and faculty researchers.