USC OORI Awards Seven Faculty-led Proposals under the President’s Sustainability Initiative Award

The University of Southern California (USC) Office of Research and Innovation (OORI) has proudly announced seven new awardees for the prestigious President’s Sustainability Initiative Award. This award, which integrates sustainability as a core value in USC’s strategic planning, is not just a recognition of their efforts but also a testament to their significant contributions to our institutional commitment to sustainability. By implementing impactful sustainability initiatives across USC’s campuses, these awardees have not only enhanced our research strengths but also paved the way for a more sustainable future. The President’s Sustainability Initiative Award aligns perfectly with the university’s core values and interests in pursuing sustainability through research.

The President’s Sustainability Initiative Award funds proposals focused on the following topic areas: (1) Human Health and Well-Being: Health approaches to promote general well-being and wellness, community health, health equity, equitable and environmentally just infrastructure, promoting and creating healthier environments, and disease determinants spanning environmental, nutritional, social, psychosocial, genetic, and epigenetic factors; (2) Infrastructure and Built Environment: Decarbonization, transportation operations and logistics, system design, integrated capacity planning, forecasting, and public health intervention for improved delivery; (3) Natural Environment/Ecosystem Services: Natural environment resilience and ecosystem preservation, natural environments in the context of the green and blue economy, and holistic research across the natural and social sciences and humanities focused on understanding the environment; (4) Communications, Policy, & Institutions: Policy improvement for the environment and sustainability, sustainability policies and planning, and analytic and methodological studies focused on the environment and communities impacted by the current environment; (5) Risk Analysis and Economic Impacts: Economic impact modeling focused on the environment and sustainability, sustainable business solutions research, and planning for climate change and sustainability with an economics focus.

In this funding cycle, we are thrilled to announce the recipients of the President’s Sustainability Initiative Award. One proposal was awarded under the small program award, and six were awarded under the significant program award. The 2024 President’s Sustainability Initiative Awardees are as follows:

Small Program Award

  1. Elias Picazo, PhD, Assistant Professor, Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
    1. Proposal Title: Developing and Understanding Sustainable Iron-Catalyzed Reactions

Large Program Award

  1. Alexander Robinson, PhD, Associate Professor, USC School of Architecture
    1. Proposal Title: Inclusive Data-Driven Design for Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Infrastructure
  2. Bryan Tysinger, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
    1. Proposal Title: Alleviating health inequities from air pollution in the Gateway Cities Region: An evidence-based, community-engaged and interdisciplinary approach
  3. Maral Mousavi, PhD, Assistant Professor, Alfred E. Mann Department of Biomedical Engineering, Viterbi School of Engineering
    1. Proposal Title: Sustaining a healthy population through early detection and frequent monitoring: A one-stop green fabrication of versatile, affordable diagnostics
  4. Noah Malmstadt, PhD, Professor, Viterbi Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Viterbi School of Engineering
    1. Proposal Title: Sustainable nanomanufacturing: Discovering solvent waste-free routes to manufacturing nanomaterials for renewable energy applications
  5. Sergey Nuzhdin, PhD, Professor, Molecular and Computational Biology, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
    1. Proposal Title: Sun-Kissed Solutions: Harnessing Sunflowers for Practical Nickel Extraction and Soil Restoration
  6. Steven Nutt, PhD, M.C. Gill Chair, Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, USC Viterbi School of Engineering
    1. Proposal Title: Recycling Composites to Sustain the Growth of Wind Energy