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A look back on 2015

December 22, 2015

The Main Building at sunset

From construction cranes spanning across the campus to a record high in research funding, and from fighting a rare disease in Haiti to designing a sanctuary in Philadelphia for the Pope, 2015 was an eventful one for the University of Notre Dame. Here are some of the many notable moments of accomplishment, celebration and reflection.

Understanding the 'wicked problem' of climate change

December 21, 2015

Frank Incropera

Frank Incropera acknowledges that it’s somewhat unusual for an engineer to delve deeply into the topic of climate change. Scientists, not engineers, have played the most prominent roles in the climate change debate to date. However, Incropera believes solving the problem going forward will require a joint effort from the two specialties. Scientists have provided an understanding of the problem, and engineers can now evaluate the feasibility of proposed solutions to the problem.

Two engineering faculty named 2016 IEEE Fellows

December 10, 2015

Patrick Fay, left, and Xiaobo Sharon Hu

Patrick Fay and Xiaobo Sharon Hu, faculty in the College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, have been named fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The grade of fellow is the highest grade of membership conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors upon an individual member.

Back to the Photovoltaic Future with Perovskites

December 04, 2015 • Categories: ND Energy


According to Dr. Prashant Kamat, "It will not be too long before rooftop solar panels will become a preferred option for new construction of houses in the U.S. and elsewhere." In a recent editorial published in the The Journal of Chemistry Letters, Dr. Kamat writes a compelling statement, based on his research expertise in solar energy and numerous public reports, on how "the necessity to decrease the carbon footprint in the energy sector and market economically competitive PV panels will drive the growth of renewable energy in the future." To read the complete editorial by Dr. Kamat, click here

Applications now open for Library Acquisitions and Equipment Restoration & Renewal Grants

December 03, 2015


Notre Dame Research has opened its annual competition for the Library Acquisitions and Equipment Restoration & Renewal Grants.

University of Notre Dame teaching and research faculty, library faculty, research faculty, and special professional faculty from all Colleges and Schools are eligible to apply. Applications are due Monday, February 1st, 2016 by 5:00 p.m. EST.…

Architect proposes sustainable, short-term housing for European refugees

December 02, 2015

Refugee housing floor plan

Fleeing the wars of Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea, Somalia and other countries, refugees in staggering and unprecedented numbers are swarming into Europe, some 800,000 so far this year alone. This global and increasingly catastrophic movement is likely not only to continue but even to increase, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has warned “it is imperative that the situation be managed in such a way as to minimize the risks of new problems being created.”

Physicist Jay LaVerne named AAAS fellow

November 24, 2015

Jay LaVerne

Jay LaVerne, professional specialist in the University of Notre Dame’s Radiation Laboratory and a concurrent research professor of physics, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in honor of his efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

LaVerne’s research concerns the examination of the energy loss, charge and other properties of ionizing radiation and to elucidate the fundamental radiolytic decomposition of molecules and the subsequent kinetics of the reactive transients.

Countries on the rebound making significant climate adaptation progress, ND-GAIN data show

November 20, 2015

ND-GAIN 2015 Movers Map

In the lead-up to 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP 21), 10 countries have come from behind to make marked progress in their ability to withstand the shocks and stresses of climate change, while five are distinctly less resilient, according to data released Tuesday (Nov. 17) by the University of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN).

Over the last five years, the 10 countries that have made the biggest jump on the ND-GAIN Country Index to become better climate adapters are Cote d’Ivoire, Laos, Georgia, The Philippines, Russia, Poland, Rwanda, Mongolia, Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Rev. Jenkins urges dialogue at Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education

November 20, 2015

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

Invited by the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education to a meeting of Catholic educators from around the world at the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo near Rome, University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., on Thursday (Nov. 19) cited Pope Francis and the late Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., president emeritus of Notre Dame, in urging that Catholic universities serve as “both a beacon for the world, which shows the light of the Gospel, and a crossroads, where genuine seekers of truth can come together in dialogue.”

Fact Sheet: Jobs in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (2015)

November 16, 2015


ND Energy is pleased to share the following information about Jobs in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (2015) originally published by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute on November 6, 2015.

This fact sheet examines employment in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors in the United States and around the world. The job figures cited below are sourced from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), as well as international organizations, national non-profits, think tanks and national trade associations. Due to the lack of a single body conducting job surveys, EESI has collected information from a number of sources which employ different research methodologies and different job definitions in their work. This makes it somewhat problematic to compare job estimates directly. In addition, EESI must occasionally refer to reports that are somewhat dated, due to a lack of more recently released information. This fact sheet represents a best effort to survey the status of renewable energy and energy efficiency jobs from the data that is publicly available.…

Video: From Water Purification to Better Batteries, Notre Dame Engineers are Advancing Research for the Good of the World

November 13, 2015 • Categories: Annual Report and ND Energy

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) has long been a strong area of research at Notre Dame, with historical expertise in catalysis, fluid mechanics, reaction engineering, and thermodynamics. Learn more about some of the research projects that CBE in a new video.

Environmental health expert to speak on health and the built environment

November 03, 2015

Richard Jackson

Environmental health expert Dr. Richard Jackson will discuss how the “built environment,” including architecture and urban planning, affects physical, mental and social health at the University of Notre Dame Nov. 9 (Monday). The lecture, at 5:30 p.m. in DeBartolo Hall, room 141, is free and open to the public.

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez to discuss Laudato Si', synod

November 03, 2015

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez of Honduras will visit the University of Notre Dame on Thursday (Nov. 5) for a conversation on Laudato Sí’ and the Synod on the Family. The event, sponsored by the Center for Social Concerns, will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the Annenberg Auditorium of the Snite Museum of Art and is open to the public.

ND-LEEF pavilion receives award from Indiana AIA

October 29, 2015

Morrison Family Education and Outreach Pavilion

The Morrison Family Education and Outreach Pavilion is the first University building to be commended by AIA Indiana.

Inaugural Faculty Research Award at the Rome Global Gateway Announced

October 14, 2015

Notre Dame Research, together with Notre Dame International, invite faculty in all Colleges and Schools to apply for inaugural Rome Global Gateway Faculty Research Award.

Grants for any amount up to $50,000 USD of total funding for the period of up to one year are available through this program.

Notre Dame's Rome Global Gateway

Pat and Jana Eilers endow defensive backs coaching position

October 12, 2015

Pat and Jana Eilers

A member of the University of Notre Dame 1988 national championship football team and his wife have made a $3 million gift to endow the football team’s defensive backs coaching position. It is the first endowed assistant coach position at the University.

Recycling in a Nuclear Age

October 01, 2015

Peter C Burns
Dr. Peter C. Burns

In the purest sense recycling is taking what has once been used and changing it, treating it, processing it so that it can be re-used. Paper, aluminum cans, plastics ... all of these can be found in recycling bins across the country. Led by Peter C. Burns

Author Gwyneth Cravens to lecture on nuclear energy on Oct. 6

September 30, 2015

Gwyneth Cravens

Gwyneth Cravens, an American author and journalist who is best known for her writings on nuclear power as a safe and reliable alternative energy source and as an essential preventive of global warming, will present a lecture titled “Can We Save the World with Nuclear Energy?" at 4 p.m. Tuesday (Oct 6) at Washington Hall Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Theologian and environmental ethicist Christiana Peppard to deliver 2015 Bernie Clark Lecture

September 28, 2015

Christiana Peppard

Theologian and fresh water ethics expert Christiana Peppard will deliver the annual Rev. Bernie Clark, C.S.C., Lecture on Catholic Social Tradition at 7 p.m. Monday (Sept. 28). The lecture will be held in Andrews Auditorium of Geddes Hall and is open to the public.

Rev. Jenkins: Pope Francis calls Americans to 'live up to the highest ideals of our nation'

September 28, 2015

President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., shakes hands with Pope Francis in Rome. Photo courtesy Vatican Photo Office

During his historic visit to the United States, on Thursday morning (Sept. 24) Pope Francis delivered the first-ever papal address to members of Congress and an audience that included Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame.

Father Jenkins, who traveled to Washington, D.C., to greet Pope Francis at the White House, said that the pontiff called on Americans to challenge themselves to live up to their ideals.

Faculty experts comment on Pope's visit to the United States

September 28, 2015

Pope Francis

Joseph Kaboski, professor of economics; Kathleen Sprows Cummings, director of Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism; and Richard W. Garnett, professor of law, reflect on what Pope Francis’ visit and Junipero Serra’s canonization mean to the Church, politicians and America.

EPA administrator speaks on the urgency of environmental protection at Notre Dame

September 28, 2015

Gina McCarthy, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, speaks at a news conference at the Morris Inn

Gina McCarthy, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), describes action against climate change as a moral obligation and praised the University of Notre Dame’s recent commitment to eliminate use of coal by 2020 as an example of an institution “putting its investments where its values are.”

Thomson Reuters names four Notre Dame faculty among the most highly cited scholars

September 23, 2015

UnThomson Reutersiversity of Notre Dame faculty members — Timothy Beers and Prashant Kamat from the College of Science and Bertrand Hochwald and J. Nicholas Laneman from the College of Engineering and  — have been named to the Thomson Reuters’ list of Highly Cited Researchers for 2015. Hochwald, Beers, and Kamat were named in the 2014 list. All four faculty members have also appeared on previous years’ lists.


Father Jenkins, faculty to offer public commentary during Pope Francis’ American visit

September 21, 2015

Pope Francis greets faithful in St. Peter's Square

University of Notre Dame president Rev. John I Jenkins, C.S.C., and several members of the University faculty will be prominent among those offering commentary and analysis in the national media during the first visit of Pope Francis to the United States next week (Sept. 22-27).

Father Jenkins and Notre Dame’s 'Pope Francis Generation' to welcome their new guest

September 21, 2015

Pope Francis

University of Notre Dame president Rev. John I Jenkins, C.S.C., and some 500 of the University’s students, faculty and staff will join in welcoming Pope Francis to the United States on his first visit here Sept. 22-27.

Notre Dame goal: No coal

September 21, 2015

Notre Dame Power Plant

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, announced Monday (Sept. 21) that the University will cease burning coal entirely within five years, and cut its carbon footprint by more than half by 2030.

“In recognition of both Pope Francis’ encyclical and his visit this week to the United States, Notre Dame is recommitting to make the world a greener place, beginning in our own backyard,” Father Jenkins said. “Of greater importance, however, are the contributions our faculty and students are making across disciplines to find sustainability answers, especially for poor countries in most need of development and the most vulnerable to climate change.”

Father Jenkins also said Notre Dame was planning the investment of $113 million in renewable energy sources and projects, including a hydroelectric project, solar power and geothermal fields both on and off campus, which collectively will reduce CO2 emissions by 47,500 tons.

ND-LEEF Science Sunday event to take place Sept. 20

September 17, 2015


The Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility (ND-LEEF), a unique environmental research collaboration between the University of Notre Dame and St. Patrick’s County Park, will host its third annual public Science Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 20).

Record highs for Notre Dame research funding

September 16, 2015

CEES Professor Amy Hixon works with an undergraduate researcher in her Stinson-Remick lab

The University of Notre Dame has received $133.7 million in research funding for fiscal year 2015. This is an all-time record for the University and $20 million more than last year.

Notre Dame and City of South Bend join MetroLab Network as part of White House Smart Cities Initiative

September 15, 2015

South Bend and Notre Dame

Announced at White House Smart Cities Forum on Monday (Sept. 14), the University of Notre Dame is joining in a partnership with the City of South Bend to bring together University researchers with city officials to address critical community needs. The Notre Dame and South Bend partnership is one of more than 20 such alliances around the country.

The agreement, called the MetroLab Network, is a national consortium of university-city partnerships committed to developing ways to improve infrastructure, city services and other public sector priorities using technology and analytically based solutions. MetroLab Network is a part of the Smart Cities Initiative, the White House administration’s focus to create smarter cities through science, technology and civic participation.

Introducing Mary Galvin, dean of the College of Science

September 14, 2015

Mary Galvin, dean of the College of Science

Watch video Video

Mary Galvin, the William K. Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science, sat down for a brief question-and-answer session about her experience, her passion for scientific research and her new role at the University of Notre Dame.

When asked what drew her to Notre Dame, Galvin is quick to answer: alignment with the University’s mission, and the chance to work with students again.