The Shared Equipment Authority (SEA) at Rice University is accepting proposals for the acquisition of new research infrastructure on campus.
“We already oversee almost 100 pieces of shared research instrumentation that support dozens of research groups in engineering and science. User fees are charged to cover consumable costs and maintain the instruments,” said Sibani Lisa Biswal, associate professor and associate chair of chemical and biomolecular engineering (ChBE), and associate professor of materials science and nanoengineering (MSNE).
Biswal is chair of the SEA board, which consists of 30 faculty members from the George R. Brown School of Engineering and the Wiess School of Natural Sciences. Last year the SEA purchased three pieces of equipment:
Nano-indenter requested by C. Fred Higgs III, the John and Ann Doerr Professor of Mechanical Engineering and interim vice provost for academic affairs, and Jun Lou, professor and associate department chair of MSNE. A nano-indenter is used to test the hardness of small quantities of a material.
Microculture instrument requested by George Bennett, professor of biochemistry and cell biology, and Ramon Gonzales, professor of ChBE. It provides a controllable multireactor platform for culturing cells under various conditions, so researchers can evaluate the effects of genetic variation or growth conditions on cell performance.
NanoSight requested by graduate students Santiago Martinez and Lizanne Nilewski (ChBE), and Emily Reiser Evans, bioengineering. The device is used to analyze nanoparticles measuring between approximately 10 nanometers and one micron in diameter.
The SEA considers a shared instrument one used by research groups of two or more faculty members and two or more departments. The SEA board considers such factors as enhancement of research capabilities on campus, number of potential users, financial sustainability, and possible needs for space and staffing.