Asee peer logo

Establishing And Managing Multidisciplinary Research And Engineering At Small Universities

Download Paper |


2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Unique Laboratory Experiments & Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.533.1 - 8.533.13



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Kelvin Kirby

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2526

Establishing and Managing Multi-Disciplinary Research and Engineering at Small Universities

Kelvin K. Kirby Electrical Engineering Department Prairie View A&M University Prairie View, Texas 77446-0397


The technological requirements of the 21st century will often be satisfied through the concept of multi-disciplinary research. Multi-disciplinary research is often the impetus that moves science, engineering and technology forward to facilitate system solutions. A common approach to establishing and sustaining multi-disciplinary research at small and minority universities is through a Multi-disciplinary Research Center (MDRC). The general mission of the MDRC is to: Conduct research in the sciences; Develop technologies and evaluation procedures; Resolve technical and human problems; or Assess the impact of various conditions on life, materials, systems or the environment. Centers also provide various research bases, which are carried through engineering implementation. The first step of establishing a MDRC is to identify a “funding source” with needs in the various areas of local expertise. The second step is to propose a center foundation or organization upon which to build the MDRC infrastructure. Constructing the foundation of an organization, which will convince the funding source of likely success is very important. As with forming any organization, one must consider the political, functional and operational environments concerning the mission, goals and objectives. The leadership traits of the center director must be well communicated throughout the Office of the Director, fostering participatory management and accountability. The strategies used to establish and sustain the NASA- Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) Center for Applied Radiation Research (CARR), an $11.5M, five-year endeavor are provided.

Section One: Establishing and Managing Multi-disciplinary Research and Engineering


The NASA-PVAMU CARR was established through the competitive process to address the tasks, missions and technological needs of NASA in the areas of radiation research. The CARR was awarded $11.5M over a ten-year period to meet the mission needs of NASA and to develop a broad-based radiation research infrastructure at a small university. In addition, the CARR mission included the development of mechanisms for increased participation by faculty and students of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in mainstream research and to increase the production of underrepresented minorities who are U.S. citizens with advanced degrees in NASA-related fields. The concept of developing a research

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Kirby, K. (2003, June), Establishing And Managing Multidisciplinary Research And Engineering At Small Universities Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11581

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015