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UCF Research Receives $83 Million in 2003-2004

Courtesy of the University of Central Florida

Photonics research, new colleges and new leadership highlight the year in research at UCF.

Researchers at the University of Central Florida spent 2003-04 strengthening a foundation that has experienced unprecedented growth in the past five years.

UCF researchers brought in $83 million in research funding during the fiscal year, more than double the $37.6 million received just five years ago, and have recently secured contributions of an additional $38 million.

One of the donations, a $10 million gift from Al and Nancy Burnett, spawned the establishment of UCF's College of Biomedical Sciences, one of three new colleges formed at the university in the past year. In May, UCF established the College of Optics and Photonics, the first optics program at a major U.S. university to be designated as a free-standing college, and the Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

"The scope and caliber of research at UCF are growing dramatically as is evidenced by these exciting developments of the past year," UCF President John Hitt said.

During 2004, UCF's Technology Incubator was named national technology incubator of the year, UCF began leadership of a new space research institute at Kennedy Space Center and a national biotech company was formed based on UCF technology.

Optics scientist Peter Delfyett was named one of the "50 Most Important Blacks in Research Science" this year.

Two UCF researchers received the prestigious National Science Foundation Career award, biomolecular scientist Henry Daniell was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences in Italy, and optics scientist Peter Delfyett was named one of the "50 Most Important Blacks in Research Science" by the Career Communications Group, publisher of US Black Engineer and Science Spectrum magazines.

The College of Optics and Photonics, which received $25.5 million in contract and grant funding during the year, received an additional boost in August with the $24 million donation of intellectual property, equipment and cash from Northrop Grumman.

"This generous donation will give students and faculty more opportunities to improve the chips that power our computers, and our university will be able to continue to develop new technology that we can transfer to our corporate partners," Hitt said.

In other areas of development, UCF hired directors of three research centers and an associate director of technology transfer.

James Hickman from Clemson University was named director of the planned Nanoscience Technology Center and Martin Quigley from Ohio State University was named director of the UCF Arboretum. Jim Fenton from the University of Connecticut has been hired as director of the Florida Solar Energy Center and will join UCF in January. Al Marder was hired as associate director of technology transfer in June.

"After five of the most successful growth years in university history we are focusing on strengthening our infrastructure to encourage continued growth and collaborations for years to come," said M.J. Soileau, vice president for research.

In 2003, research funding was a record $88.8 million.