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AT&T Awards Environmental Fellowship to Iowa State University


Ames, Iowa - The AT&T Foundation has awarded Iowa State University a $25,000 environmental research grant and designated Dr. Sarah Ryan as an AT&T Faculty Fellow in Industrial Ecology. She is one of only three academic researchers selected to receive funding from the 2006 competitive grants program.

Ryan, an associate professor and interim chair of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering at Iowa State University, was awarded the fellowship for her proposal “The Value of Improved Product Condition Information to Product-Based Service Providers.” Her research will demonstrate how information can be substituted for the materials and energy otherwise consumed unnecessarily in the traditional supply chain. The fellowship will fund research to be conducted during 2007.

“This is a great opportunity to show how the use of information technology can benefit the environment,” Ryan said. “Our mathematical and computer models can show companies how to save valuable resources by using less material and energy. Not only do they use less but also reduce the amount of material that goes to landfills.”

“Iowa State University is one of the most valuable assets to Iowa’s education system, and Dr. Ryan’s award is positive proof that we have some of the most talented faculty in the state of Iowa,” state Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell said. “This award is an enormous achievement for Dr. Ryan, and it is a great day for Iowa as we tout her accomplishments.”

“We are proud of the higher-education system in Iowa, and this award given to Dr. Ryan makes us realize the level of talent that we bring to our students,” state Rep. Lisa Heddens said. “Research is a critical component of so many things in our everyday lives, and we need to continue to support professors like Dr. Ryan and others at Iowa State University who move research forward to improve our daily lives.”

AT&T has led the way in research on industrial ecology — a multidisciplinary science that investigates how the economy and the environment can coexist — by mentoring graduate and undergraduate students in the field, as well as by providing three faculty fellowships annually through the AT&T Foundation. The AT&T Industrial Ecology Faculty Fellowship, which started in 1993, is one element of AT&T’s commitment to education and to the environment. The program was designed to advance the development of work in environmental fields, helping universities produce faculty and students who can contribute to solving global and regional environmental problems and who can help shape environmentally and economically efficient strategies.

“This is an important field, and we are delighted to progress the study by providing fellowships to universities and their professors,” said Wauneta Browne, AT&T regional vice president of External Affairs. “We’re proud to support research, such as Dr. Ryan’s, that will contribute to sustainable and economically efficient approaches for our business and others.”


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