For the second year in a row the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology surpassed its previous external research funding record. The college received $14,248,397 in funding for 2017, which is $80,281 more than the college received in 2016.
The BYU Electrical and Computer Engineering department was one of the major contributors to the college's record level of funding; it received nearly $1.6 million more than the department has ever received before.
Generally a decrease in funding occurs after a record high, but due to the efforts of faculty and students research funding actually increased for the college.
External research funding is usually awarded on a project-to-project basis which is why the funding varies so much from year to year. However, in 2017 many new projects received large grants, such as a NSF (National Science Foundation) grant that was awarded to BYU for UAV technology research.
Research funding is not only important for the knowledge gained from the research, but also for the unique experience it provides to undergrad students who gain valuable skills from research opportunities.
“The experiential learning opportunities provided to students through research are an important and impactful way to achieve in-depth learning,” said Larry Howell, associate dean of the Ira A. Fulton College. “Research funding enables students to be involved in world-class engineering research and to be mentored by professors who are experts in their fields, and to do that in a way that has the potential to make a positive impact on the world.”
BYU, in total, received $33,303,320 for research funding this year. This is the second highest amount raised by the university in the past decade.
BYU Photo; Graphic by Hannah Hales