CSU, Chico News

Four Selected for 2014 Outstanding Project Director Awards

Date: 02-19-2014

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Carol Sager, Director
Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

California State University, Chico’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (RESP) has selected four recipients for its 2014 Outstanding Project Director Awards. The annual awards recognize faculty and staff who have been successful in securing and managing funding awards from external sponsors. Awardees were selected by RESP staff and will be honored at a Feb. 26 campus event.

Lifetime Achievement

Emeritus professor of electrical and computer engineering Roy Crosbie is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing a history of successfully securing external funding. Crosbie holds bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in electronic and electrical engineering, respectively, from the University of Liverpool in England. He joined what was then the Department of Computer Science at CSU, Chico in 1983 after serving for 20 years as a faculty member at Salford University in England. He retired from teaching in 2005.

At CSU, Chico he helped to establish and served as chair of the then-Department of Computer Engineering. Together with colleagues in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, he has been involved in research in computer simulation techniques that, since 1998, has attracted more than $5 million in funding. Since 2001, this funding has mostly been provided by the U.S. Office of Naval Research and has been focused on the development of low-cost, high-speed techniques for the simulation of electric power systems to develop all-electric ships. These projects have involved collaboration with several universities, including South Carolina, Drexel, Glasgow (Scotland), Hamburg and Aachen (Germany), and Cambridge (England). The research team has received best paper awards at international conferences.

Crosbie is a fellow in the Institution of Engineering and Technology in the United Kingdom and former president and lifetime member of the Society for Modeling and Simulation International. He is a recipient of the society’s Presidential Award for Distinguished Service to the Society. He has also been recognized as a pioneer member of the Modeling and Simulation Professional Certification Commission. He received the John F. O’Connell Endowed Fellowship in 1996–97 and has been awarded CSU, Chico’s Professional Achievement Honors (twice) and an Outstanding Project Director Award.

Outstanding Project Director

Geological and environmental sciences professor Shane Mayor is the recipient of the Outstanding Project Director Award. The award recognizes a project director who has been successful in securing external funds and an outstanding partner to RESP. Mayor came to CSU, Chico in 2008 as a research professor and lecturer and in 2013 became an assistant professor in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences. During his first five years at the University, he successfully secured more than $1.3 million in funding from the National Science Foundation to establish the Atmospheric Lidar Research Group. The group supports a postdoctoral scholar, a programmer, four graduate students and several undergraduate student assistants.

Lidar is a remote sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser and analyzing the reflected light. The Atmospheric Lidar Research Group operates a high-performance atmospheric lidar system at the University Farm to study wind turbulence. The goal is to develop a remote sensing capability for applications in wind energy and air quality, as well as meteorology research.

Mayor holds a doctorate degree in atmospheric and oceanic sciences from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is a coauthor of 26 peer-reviewed publications, two National Academies reports and three U.S. patents. In 2013, he gave invited talks at conferences of the Optical Society of America and the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. Mayor teaches courses in atmospheric science in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences.

Debut Principal Investigator

Agriculture professor Jacob Brimlow is the recipient of the Debut Principal Investigator Award, given to first-time project directors who have secured a significant external award. A CSU, Chico alumnus (BA, Economics, 1997), Brimlow joined the College of Agriculture in 2009 after earning his doctorate in agricultural and natural resource economics at North Carolina State University. He teaches courses in agricultural economics, international development in agriculture, agricultural finance and price analysis.

His research focuses on improving the profitability and economic resiliency of agricultural production in the CSU, Chico service area by identifying and developing market opportunities, particularly for small- and medium-sized producers. He has worked with RESP on several CSU Agricultural Research Institute grants, including an analysis of the role of feed efficiency metrics in breeding bull profitability at small consignment auctions; a joint project with the College of Engineering researching power alternatives for agricultural producers facing increasingly stringent air quality rules for stationary engines; and an assessment of the barriers to local food sales using a randomized survey of local growers developed and administered with the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion (CNAP).

Brimlow recently made his debut as a principal investigator on a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant designed to assess how gaps in food safety knowledge and certification are limiting local intermediated food markets, such as sales between local growers and restaurants, school districts and hospitals. The grant leverages relationships between faculty and graduate students from the College of Agriculture, the Department of Nutrition and Food Science and CNAP and includes a key partnership with the Northern California Regional Land Trust’s Local Food Systems Program, which plays a primary role in program outreach and dissemination, including workshops and trainings for local growers, buyers and economic development professionals.

Outstanding Project Staff

Administrative analyst Pauli Watts is the recipient of the Outstanding Project Staff Award. Watts manages four federal and two state grants supporting the University’s longest continually funded program, Upward Bound. A campus staple since 1966, the program aims to prepare underrepresented high school students for postsecondary education by providing academic tutoring and guidance, financial aid workshops and a six-week summer college experience hosted annually at CSU, Chico. Reaching students in 18 high schools from six surrounding counties, the program allows students to live in the dorms, take academic classes taught by local high schools teachers and CSU, Chico faculty and participate in work-experience opportunities.

Watts manages six external grants and ensures compliance with all state and federal rules and regulations. She has worked with the Upward Bound program for 15 years, serving as office manager and assistant program coordinator before her current role. She has also served as treasurer of the Western Association of Educational Opportunity Personnel NorCal Chapter for four years.

The CSU, Chico Office of Research and Sponsored Programs supports scholarship and creative activity across the University by assisting faculty and others in securing and managing externally funded projects. RESP staff work directly with faculty to secure funded research, which informs instruction and enriches students’ learning environments.