Research and Economic Development, Office of



Date of this Version



Issued by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Office of Research & Economic Development, November 2011.

An interactive website for this material is


Collaborations, Partnerships Drive Innovation 1

Discovery Could Spark Smaller, Faster Electronics 2

MRSEC Fosters Collaboration 3

Harnessing Laser Power Creates Precise Nanostructures 5

Nanohybrids Promise ‘Best of Both Worlds’ 6

Water for Food Institute Building Partnerships 8

World Water Expert to Lead Institute 9

Understanding Aquifer Recharge 10

Targeted Research Investments Hedge Against Food Crisis 11

Uncovering New Perspectives on Whitman 12

Civil War Washington Going Digital 14

Humanities Grants Support Language, Digital Initiatives 15

Improving Children’s Reading Comprehension 16

Transforming Early Childhood Education 17

Bullying: Filling Gaps Between Research, Practice 18

Preparing Military Kids for Success in School 19

Museum Celebrates 140 Years of Discovery 20

Development Revving Up at Nebraska Innovation Campus 22

Building Industry Connections 23

Virtual View to Safer Job Sites 24

Teaming on Wheat Improvement 25

UNL Technology Powers Solar Startup 25

Zeroing in on Genes to Beat Rice Blast Fungus 26

Coalition Aims to Turn Algae into Biofuel 27

Partnership Expanding Brain Research 28

Targeting Metabolism to Combat Staph Infections 30

Probing Genes, Gut Microbes and Food Safety 31

Breaking the Revictimization Cycle 32

Rooting Out Health Disparities 33

Student Ad Agency Sets Sail 34

Hollywood Pros, Students Team Up for Film Series 35

Prepping for Legal Reform 36

Durham School Building on Strengths 37

Research Highlights 38

Financials 41

Creating a culture of collaboration has been central to UNL’s research progress over the past decade. Expanding collaborations and partnerships is essential to our success as we build for the future. The reason is simple: We achieve far more by working together – across disciplines, institutions and geographic boundaries – with both public and private sector partners. The complexities of 21st century challenges and opportunities demand this approach. We’ve made significant progress. Our research in digital humanities, water for food and nanotechnology, as well as strides in economic development, are among the examples of UNL’s collaborative spirit featured in this report. Nebraska Athletics and the UNL Office of Research and Economic Development are partnering to create research space for a new interdisciplinary research initiative in the East Stadium addition to Memorial Stadium, home to Husker football. This initiative will bring together behavioral, biological social science, and health and performance researchers in the proposed Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior to tackle, among other topics, performance issues such as the effects of concussion on the brain (page 28). Nebraska Innovation Campus, UNL’s private-public research campus, illustrates the payoffs when the state, university and private sector work together. A $25 million investment by Nebraska’s Legislature and the governor has fueled $80 million in private and public investments in the Phase I development (page 22). UNL’s entrance into the Big Ten Conference in 2011 launched a promising and exciting new era of collaboration for UNL research and academics as well as athletics. Big Ten members are among the nation’s leading research universities, renowned for excellence in the classroom, lab and playing field. Collaboration is a rich Big Ten tradition, and the affiliated Committee on Institutional Cooperation offers the most sophisticated collaborative infrastructure in American higher education. It’s a great fit for UNL and we look forward to building productive partnerships across the conference. From carbon nanostructures to aquifer recharge, from virtual 3-D construction sites to genetic control of gut microbes, and from a high-powered laser lab to world-class digital humanities research, UNL faculty are innovating for the future. This report highlights how our collaborative spirit fuels this innovation to benefit Nebraska, the nation and the world. We are excited about our future and look forward to enhancing collaborations and developing key partnerships. We welcome your innovative ideas. If you would like to partner with us or know of potential collaborators, please let us know.

Prem S. Paul,

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development