Indrani Bhattacharya, PhD student (Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering) and Michael Deagan, PhD student (Materials Science & Engineering) presented the Smart Lighting ERC’s research to members of congress, ERC directors, industry representatives and National Science Foundation (NSF) program managers at the 30th Anniversary celebration of the Engineering Research Centers Program held in Washington, DC on Capitol Hill.  Indrani and Mike explained their research in the context of societal needs and the broader impact of their success.  Pictured below is Congressman Paul Tonko, (who is a strong support of the Smart Lighting ERC and the ERC program), ERC Director Bob Karlicek, Mike Deagan and Indrani Bhattacharya.Tonko for Web

The event, sponsored by the NSF and IEEE-USA included a reception for 16 current, NSF-supported ERCs to showcase interactive demonstrations and research findings related to engineering discovery, technologies, and tools that have resulted in high-impact achievements and address national priorities.  The celebration was designed to invite conversation among graduate students, researchers, industry representatives, and legislator/staffers.

“The NSF’s ERC program provides a very unique, highly interdisciplinary environment for training engineering students in cutting-edge research driven from a systems-level perspective,” said Robert Karlicek, director of Rensselaer’s Smart Lighting ERC. “By having students connect the dots between basic science, engineering, and real-world applications, they learn how to be successful in either academic or industrial disciplines faster than students who are isolated in narrowly confined research projects.”

“The ERC’s mixture of transformative research, system-level experimental test beds, active educational outreach, and strong engagement with global industry partners is a signature strength of all ERC programs, and the Smart Lighting ERC is excited to be part of this 30th NSF ERC celebration on Capitol Hill,” said Karlicek.