Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representatives Donald Norcross (NJ-01) and Susan Wild (PA-07), both members of the House Committee on Education and Labor, joined today in announcing grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a collaboration between Rowan University and Lafayette College for research into environmentally sustainable materials. Rowan University will receive $138,000 from NSF and Lafayette College, located in Easton, PA, will receive $161,998 for a total of $299,998 in research funding.

“The development of new green technologies is vital in protecting our planet from further damage done by climate change,” said Congressman Norcross. “Funding sustainable practices is investing in the health and safety of not only our future, but the future of our children and generations to come. It is great to know that this invaluable, innovative work is being done right here in our backyard at Rowan University and across the river at Lafayette College.”

“We must undertake a major transition toward a green future, and we have a rapidly-shrinking timeframe to do so,” said Congresswoman Wild. “This grant recognizes that our universities have a role to play and ensures that the Greater Lehigh Valley continues to lead in innovative research to develop cutting-edge technologies. It’s critical that we address the challenges of today and those our children will face in the future.”

The collaboration will include a team of faculty and students, both undergraduate and graduate, across the two institutions.

“In collaboration with Lafayette College, we seek to utilize residual biomass sources, green extraction techniques and appropriate plastic syntheses to incorporate unique bio-based molecules into potentially biodegradable polyesters,” said Joseph Stanzione, a professor at Rowan University Chemical Engineering and principal investigator on the grant. “The research will span the entire life cycle of a plastic product, from feedstock to recycling. Moreover, outreach activities at the local level and educational modules directly related to the research activities will occur and will be developed and disseminated, respectively. We are ecstatic and thankful for NSF’s support and we have hit the ground running.”

"Working on an interdisciplinary team with researchers at Rowan University and Lafayette College, I am excited to develop and evaluate sustainable pathways starting from the green extraction of building blocks to produce bio-based plastics with careful consideration of both function and environmental impact," said Melissa Gordon, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Lafayette College. "I am hopeful that this collaborative research, along with the outreach and educational modules developed as part of this work, will help move us toward alternatives to petroleum-based plastics. We are very excited and thankful for NSF’s support."

NSF supports research, innovation and discovery that provides the foundation for economic growth in this country.


Contact: Carrie Healey, Communications Director