Tulane to help spur manufacturing

Tulane University is joining forces with Texas A&M in one of five regional centers nationwide as part of a $140 million Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute announced by the White House.

Texas A&M and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station will lead the new Gulf Coast Regional Manufacturing Center, with Tulane and the University of Texas also playing significant roles in its operation.

Tulane is among a consortium of 200 partners from across academia, industry and nonprofits that make up the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition, which will lead the clean energy initiative in partnership with the Department of Energy. The coalition aims to advance smart sensors and digital process controls that can radically improve the efficiency of advanced manufacturing in the United States.

Tulane will carry out its role at the PolyRMC laboratory of the School of Science & Engineering under the direction of physics professor Wayne Reed, the lab’s founding director.

The lab’s spinoff company, Advanced Polymer Monitoring Technologies Inc., will be led by CEO Alex Reed and will translate the Tulane research into an industrial platform.

Loyola law professor gets excellence award

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has awarded the Loyola Law Clinic’s Hiroko Kusuda the 2016 Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award.

Kusuda is the director and a professor of immigration law within the Loyola College of Law’s Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice.

Clinic students learn litigation skills to represent non-citizens before the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration Courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals and federal and state courts. Law clinic students also work to bring about policy changes to reduce the systematic problems that face immigrant communities.

The Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice gives third-year law students the opportunity to put classroom knowledge to work in representing those in need under the supervision of experienced attorneys. Students gain practical experience in a number of fields including immigration law defense.

The clinic’s Immigration Law Section has represented non-citizens since 1979.

The clinic also offers a Street Law Program, externships and opportunities at the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center.

Established in 1997, the Elmer Fried Award recognizes one immigration law professor each year. The American Immigration Lawyers Association advocates for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy and seeks to advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice.

Kusuda is a longtime AILA member, a mentor on removal defense and asylum law and a co-founder of the Louisiana Immigrant Representation Working Group.

Nitrogen reduction challenge still open

Thursday is the deadline to enter Tulane University’s $1 million Nitrogen Reduction Challenge. The program seeks in-field solutions that will reduce crop fertilizers and runoff to prevent “dead zones” in the world’s lakes and oceans.

Dead zones are a problem across the globe, but the second-largest zone is just off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico.

Forecasters estimate this year’s dead zone will be 29 percent larger than average, or about the size of Connecticut, because of near-record levels of farm-runoff pollution in the Mississippi River. Nitrogen, a component of agricultural fertilizers, causes rapid growth of toxic algae, which depletes oxygen in the water. Without oxygen, marine life can’t survive.

The first phase of the challenge calls for a one-page abstract. It’s open to international teams, government agencies, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, universities or any team with a proposal that could work in the field. Those with the most viable ideas will be asked to make a full technical submission.

The Tulane Nitrogen Reduction Challenge is funded by Phyllis Taylor, president of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation and a member of the Tulane board.