AAAS Assesses New Catalysis Joint Research Center
At the request of the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez (UPRM), AAAS mobilized an expert panel this past February for an on-site assessment of UPRM’s new Center for Sustainable Water, Energy, and Food Nexus (SusWEF), created jointly with the University of South Carolina. The SusWEF Center, funded through the NSF EPSCoR program, focuses on research towards the sustainable use of chemical catalysis for water treatment and for the conversion of biomass to simple chemicals – including for crop production. AAAS recruited four national experts in biomass catalysis, water treatment, crops, and advanced computational modeling; these experts also had leadership experience in multi-institutional research and center management, education, partnerships, and diversity. After reading SusWEF materials and visiting on site, the AAAS panel provided an assessment of the Center’s strengths and potential impacts and made recommendations for improvement. As requested, the AAAS Panel will follow-up with two more site visits as SusWEF grows over the next three years.