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Global Innovation

Award Dollars by Source


Federal 54.8% State & Local


Nonprofit & Foundation Research and scholarship are at the heart

Business & Industry

of UNCW’s mission and are exemplified in

Other Key among the plan’s priorities are enhancing

Faculty and students are actively engaged in

learning experiences and educational programs

creative activities that span the entire range

and advancing research and scholarly activities.

of academic programs and departments.

As we focus our efforts and energies on

This brochure highlights a few of the exciting projects that integrate research, innovation and scholarship with entrepreneurship, resulting in positive social impact and distinction. UNCW is fortunate to have so many present and


executing the Strategic Plan, we are starting to witness an incredible fusion of opportunity with academics, leading to the discovery of new knowledge from our research and scholarly endeavors.

Award Dollars by School College of Arts and Sciences


College of Health and Human Services


Center for Marine Science 50% 2

future scholars actively involved in the

I encourage you to learn more about the inspiring

Cameron School of Business

research enterprise.

research going on at UNCW by visiting our

Institute for Interdisciplinary Identity Sciences 5%

website at

Watson College of Education




This is an exciting time at UNCW. The university’s 2016-21 Strategic Plan is in place and becoming

Total Award Amount:

more and more of a reality each day. The plan’s vision is for UNCW to be recognized for excellence in everything it does, for its global mindset and for its community engagement.




numerous ways throughout the university.

The University of North Carolina Wilmington provides an exceptional fusion of opportunity and academics. The result?


RON VETTER, Ph.D. Associate Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School

2% All totals as of August 11, 2017 Source: UNCW Research Administration Management System & eSubmission (RAMSeS)


Includes Colleges & Universities, International Research at the Center for Marine Science is performed on behalf of the College of Arts & Sciences 3 Includes Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Community Engagement, Business Affairs, Undergraduate Studies, Sponsored Programs & Research Compliance (SPARC) 1 2

UNCW is an EEO/AA institution. Questions regarding UNCW’s Title IX compliance should be directed to 2,000 copies of this public document were printed at a cost of $1,042 or $.52 per copy. (G.S. 143-170.1). 8/17


a journey of intellectual inquiry The world is – literally – our oyster. Researchers at UNCW are discovering pearls of wisdom through cultivating shellfish, exploring oceans and developing literacy programs. They’re turning ocean debris into usable oil, discovering new species, dissecting via 3-D imaging and effecting change in communities both local and worldwide. Uncovering new facts, connecting theories, improving methods and answering new questions drive Seahawk research at all levels: undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate. Our dedication to excellence and innovation is what gives flight to our imagination.

Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought. - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Nanosatellite for Marine Research

48-Hour Hackathon

Determining Customer “Delight”

In November 2016, engineering, computer science and IT students used technology and innovation to tackle problems related to research currently underway by UNCW faculty. Paired with GE Hitachi employees who served as mentors and coaches, students developed a plan and technical architecture for the initiatives in just 48 hours. Solutions included an oyster cage tracking system to help automate data collection and field service work; an integrated-design weather balloon project that connects to a central cloud-based repository; and a low-cost scientific probe that gathers data and measures the health of a fish tank along with an app to alert researchers, through text messaging, about tank conditions. (This event was organized by graduate student Sarah Ritter and held at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.)

Customer satisfaction is no longer enough to ensure profitable customer relationships. Simply satisfied customers are not loyal or willing to tell others about a business. However, a delighted customer - one who has had an emotional experience with a company or product will likely shout their praise from the proverbial rooftops.

Imagine a satellite the size of a loaf of bread that can enhance scientists’ ability to observe the ocean. Professor John M. Morrison led a team that developed a one-of a-kind ocean color nanosatellite, or CubeSat, called SeaHawk. The CubeSat will expand UNCW’s marine research capabilities, providing a unique vantage point to observe the ocean’s surface. The Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography received a $4.2 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for the project.

Face Aging Lab

Education Research in Sub-Saharan Africa

Lead UNCW researcher Karl Ricanek and his associates have developed technologies that have been licensed to Lapetus Solutions Inc. (LSI), a science and technology growth company. One of LSI’s first products, CHRONOS, combines facial analytics, biodemographic information and dynamic questioning to underwrite insurance policies by having users merely upload a selfie and answer nine simple questions. LSI has partnered with L&G America to roll out this innovative solution to the marketplace.

Watson College of Education faculty Elizabeth Barber and Ann Potts are enhancing education on a global scale. The educators are supporting African youth by partnering with colleagues in Malawi to co-construct innovative practices that support youth education. Their research focuses on literacy development and helping secure critically needed health and educational resources for learners and teachers. Barber and Potts received Fulbright Scholarships to fund their research.

A key research unit of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Identity Sciences (I3S), the Face Aging Lab studies how our faces reflect signs of health and wellness. Researchers believe that certain attributes can be identified from the face and used to develop novel solutions to help find health indicators. The resulting technology could aid people in discovering ailments in the early stages.

Associate Professor of Marketing Donald Barnes and other faculty in the Cameron School of Business have been studying customer delight in laboratory and field settings for more than a decade. They have written 13 peer-reviewed articles on customer delight, have received two awards for journal articles of the year, and presented around the nation on the concept, investigating delight with small and large firms across retail stores, restaurants, grocery stores, professional sports franchises, adventure recreation activities, sales organizations and more.

Global Marine Summit Convening international scientists, policy makers and industry leaders in fall 2017, the UNCW Global Marine Summit focuses on developing progressive solutions for global marine science issues and improving the economic climate of coastal regions. Providing opportunities for enhanced collaboration in marine science, the summit leverages UNCW’s expertise with that of international partner institutions with an expressed interest in collective work. Information from this meeting will be used to communicate and work with resource managers and local, state and federal agencies tasked with setting policies and funding the amelioration of negative impacts on coastal systems while finding ways to improve and sustain coastal economies. Aswani Volety, College of Arts and Sciences Dean, current president of the Southern Association of Marine Labs and organizer of the summit, is passionate about promoting marine science research and education to benefit the economy and society.

Oyster Research Building a sustainable shellfish aquaculture industry is a paramount concern for UNCW’s Shellfish Research Hatchery and its director, Ami Wilbur. Research conducted here contributes to North Carolina’s efforts to restore declining populations of ecologically and commercially important shellfish. Current research projects focus on issues constraining the development of shellfish aquaculture industry, including the selective breeding of oysters for superior growth and survival; the effect of gear type on the growth and survival of oysters; the evaluation of the effects of triploidy (having an extra set of chromosomes) on performance; and the investigation of best practices for the cultivation of sunray venus clams and bay scallops. Also, UNCW researchers Troy Alphin and Martin Posey have developed a North Carolina siting tool that aides in site selection for new or expanding shellfish mariculture operations.

Entrepreneurship and Fish

Monitoring Toxin Content in Fisheries

Entrepreneurs from Delaware to Mississippi gathered in March 2017 to learn about developing a sustainable shellfish industry during the Fish 2.0 South Atlantic & Gulf Coast Shellfish Workshop, co-sponsored by the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Participants worked to improve their business models and prepared to pitch their innovative business ideas to potential investors. Fish 2.0 works through a unique global network to connect seafood businesses and investors to grow the sustainable seafood sector.

Jennifer McCall, assistant professor in the CHHS School of Nursing and CEO of SeaTox Research Inc., is developing tests to help research groups and regulatory agencies monitor toxin content in fisheries to protect the public from the detrimental effects of neurotoxins. McCall was awarded a $1.47 million Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to further develop the toxin tests.

2017 Research brochure  

This brochure highlights a few of the exciting projects that integrate research, innovation and scholarship with entrepreneurship, resulting...

2017 Research brochure  

This brochure highlights a few of the exciting projects that integrate research, innovation and scholarship with entrepreneurship, resulting...