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Fed funds rain down on USU

Various projects bring in a total of $55 million

LOGAN — Since the beginning of the federal fiscal year Oct. 1, 2002, Utah State University has been awarded at least $55 million in federal funds.

The funding recognizes the quality of USU research projects and "demonstrates the economic value to Utah of a top-flight research institution," said President Kermit Hall. "At a time of great strain on our state budget, I'm sure Utah taxpayers will welcome these outside resources. And, in these challenging times abroad, all citizens should welcome the fact that some of our key programs will help make our nation more secure."

Hall praised Utah's five-member congressional delegation for helping Utah State win new funding, especially Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, the only member of Utah's delegation on an appropriations committee.

The largest award — $43 million — goes to the USU Foundation's Space Dynamics Laboratory. The Defense Department grant supports a cooperative program to develop Russian-American Observational Satellites (RAMOS), to be used by each nation to update surveillance and early-warning systems. Other grants include:

$2.5 million from the Pentagon for the College of Engineering to produce robotic systems to inspect under vehicles to detect bombs or contraband, protecting the lives of humans who can operate them from a distance. A second Pentagon award for $2.5 million is to develop real-time image compression for communications.

$248,000 for pasture research.

$847,000 for the Jack Berryman Institute for Wildlife Damage Management to collaborate on research with Mississippi State University.

$640,000 for the Utah Botanical Center now being developed in Davis County.

$150,000 for a food-safety certification program.

$1.5 million to build additional facilities at the Poisonous Plant Research lab.

$728,000 to continue a remote sensing program, used by farmers, ranchers, and other land-use planners to monitor and record the state of natural resources.

$300,000 to develop forest management on private lands.

$350,000 for the Distance Education and Disability Center.

Utah State also is one of eight northwest research universities in the Inland Northwest Research Alliance (INRA) that received $4 million, to be divided among the universities.