July 31, 2012

Startup company gives $120,000 grant to Wayne State University geology department for energy, mining research

Faculty and research assistants in Wayne State University’s Department of Geology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences soon will become the latest additions to a national team of experts at a newly formed consulting company.

The department recently received a one-year, $120,000 grant from Quarkonics Applied Research Corp. (QARC), which is based in TechTown, the university’s research and technology park and business incubator.

The company uses a national network of academic and industrial experts from well-known institutions and firms to help companies tackle energy- and mining-related problems that require complex solutions. QARC officials say that in addition to providing a diverse and global knowledge base, its consultants also can manage projects to completion.

“We are the people who conduct high-energy particle physics experiments or design autopilot helicopters and space shuttle laboratories,” said N.P. Kulkarni, Ph.D., president of QARC and a WSU graduate. “If we cannot solve a problem, then the problem is really unsolvable.”

The grant will support the hiring of a new geology research faculty member and two part-time graduate students, all of whom will study geophysical parameters in the energy sector. Company officials say the funding is likely to continue beyond this year.

“We are very delighted to have this new position to expand our undergraduate and graduate programs. The partnership will also provide experience to our students and connect them with industries for potential job opportunities,” said Mark Baskaran, Ph.D., Wayne State professor of geology.

Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu.