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First Innovation-Corps Grant at UL Lafayette

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We are very excited to announce Dr. Emad Habib as our first recipient of a National Science Foundation Innovation-Corps L Grant. This grant will help move a UL Lafayette educational innovation into more classrooms.  I-Corps grants are intended to assist promising technologies with expansion beyond the laboratory and into the commercial world where they can benefit the economy and society.  The grant provides funds to allow an I-Corps team to travel and participate in training. An I-Corps team is composed of an academic researcher, student entrepreneur and business mentor(s). 

Dr. Habib is an endowed professor in civil engineering who studies hydrology and water resources. While heading an NSF collaborative Dr. Habib smilingproject with Utah State and Columbia University, he developed an educational innovation called HydroViz to improve undergraduate education on hydrology and water resources.  HydroViz is web-based and contains active-learning modules based on current water data and models.   You can try HydroViz for yourself and meet the entire development team.  The goal of our I-Corps team is to expand upon the platform designed for the classroom to make it fully scalable and sustainable, allow connections to community-based hydrologic information and model sharing of resources, such that independent users can develop their own modules.

Matthew Deshotel, a Master of Science student in Civil Engineering, is our student entrepreneur for I-Corps project.  Matt’sMatt Deshotel smiling undergraduate work was also in Civil Engineering at UL Lafayette. He is interested in education innovations for engineering, coastal restoration and numerical modeling.  He has been working on content development, classroom implementation, student feedback and assessment. Matt’s role within the UL Lafayette I-Corps team is to discover and setup interviews with potential HydroViz customers to learn how best to transfer HydroViz to the commercial sector for both economic and societal benefit.

Dr. Henry Chu is our business mentor for this project; he is a professor of Computer Science and the Director of the Dr. Chu smilingInformatics Research Institute.  He is advising the team about potential situations and challenges that future users/customers of HydroViz might encounter.  He will assist them with locating universities, schools and business that may have an interest in utilizing this educational technology.  Additionally, Dr. Chu is using his connections with local businesses to ensure progress in the development of HydroViz.
Please join us in congratulating Drs. Habib, Chu and Matt Deshotel on their accomplishment and wishing them well in this and all future endeavors.  Please visit the HydroViz website to learn more about HydroViz and the team’s commercial efforts.  To learn more about other I-Corps opportunities contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs or visit the Innovation Corps Teams Program website.
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