Cal Poly gets record $32 million in grants in 2015-16 school year

Cal Poly faculty and staff received a record $32 million in grants in the 2015-16 school year.
Cal Poly faculty and staff received a record $32 million in grants in the 2015-16 school year.

Faculty and staff at Cal Poly received a record $32 million in grants in the 2015-16 academic year up 25 percent from the year before, according to a news release.

The grants contributed to more than $250,000 in tuition, fees and scholarships for students, $650,000 in lab equipment; paid the wages of 58 Cal Poly Corp. employees and $1.8 million in wages to more than 800 student researchers.

In addition, faculty and staff received five patents in the past school year: for an efficient car air-conditioning system (Patrick Lemieux); an in-wall air filtration system (Carmen Trudell and student Natacha Schnider); CubeSats, small satellites that launch as secondary payloads (Jordi Puig-Suari and Austin Williams); software that allows the blind to convert touch input into an audio response (Dennis Fantin and Art MacCarley); and an environmentally safe packaging design (Jay Singh and former student Evan Cernokus).

“Five patents in a year is on the high end, but we usually get about three to five every year,” said Dean Wendt, dean of research in the Office of Research and Economic Development.

Cal Poly also honored four individuals who, over the course of their careers at the university, have secured a combined $50 million in grant funding.

Stuart Styles and Charles Burt of the Irrigation Training and Research Center have each procured more than $20 million in external funding while Sam Blakeslee, director of the Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy, and Trevor Cardinal, director of the Regenerative Medicine Program, each obtained $5 million. Christine Robertson of the Advanced Technology and Public Policy institute and Suzanne Phelan of the Center for Solutions through Research in Diet and Exercise were also honored.

Robert Shutt: 805-781-7902, @roshu42