Congressman Donald Norcross

Representing the 1st District of New Jersey
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Norcross Announces $203K+ Federal Grant for Cutting-Edge Engineering Program at Rowan University

Jun 9, 2017
News Release
Virtual Reality Safety Training for Chemical Engineering Students Will Keep South Jersey Workers Safe When They Enter the Workforce

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) announced that Rowan University was awarded a $203,321 federal grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to advance chemical engineering education with cutting-edge technology and partnerships, and better prepare South Jersey students for safety challenges when they enter the workforce.

“Preparing our future high-skilled workers for the challenges they will face on a job site is incredibly important,” said Congressman Donald Norcross. “I worked as an electrician for years, am a member of a local union and know that safety training is lifesaving. Thanks to this NSF grant, South Jersey STEM students will be receiving top-of-the-line training that will allow them to stay safe and thrive in their chosen field and, as a result, positively influence South Jersey’s economy when they join the workforce.”

“This award enables the creation of digitally immersive environments that more accurately reflect occupational safety scenarios students will encounter on the job,” said Dr. Anthony Lowman, Dean of the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering. “This creates a better prepared workforce, with stronger decision-making skills and highlights Rowan’s commitment to solving real-world problems while providing an exceptional engineering education.”

The Rowan University project selected by NSF is called “Collaborative Research: Experiential Process Safety Training for Chemical Engineers” and integrates computer-based simulations of digital environments to allow students to experience safety challenges first-hand.

Under the direction of Cheryl Bodnar, this grant will allow the safety simulations to be implemented in three chemical engineering programs. The team at Rowan University will partner with Filament Games to develop the virtual environments.

The NSF supports research, innovation and discovery projects that are the foundation for economic growth in this country. By advancing the frontiers of science and engineering, our nation can develop the knowledge and cutting-edge technologies needed to address the challenges we face today and will face in the future.


Contact: Ally Kehoe, Communications Director