Welcome to my blog. It contains new and archived messages that I have sent to the campus. Feel free to browse!

Matthew A. Tarr PhD
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This is the list of all contributions published in this section, in chronological order.

By Admin (on 2/28/2014 @ 15:44:53, in ORSP Announcements, read 237 times)

The University of New Orleans and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced a partnership with the goal of encouraging and enhancing study in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines for UNO students and faculty.

UNO and the Corps of Engineers will collaborate on research projects of mutual interest which may include soil testing, water quality testing, coastal dredging, land loss prevention and surge modeling.

"This partnership is an important step forward for the UNO College of Engineering in its commitment to being a resource and collaborator with local, state and federal entities," said Norm Whitley, dean of the College of Engineering. "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a critical player in the future of the city of New Orleans and all of south Louisiana. We are excited about working with the Corps on the important environmental and infrastructure issues that challenge our community's existence and prosperity."

"We are proud to establish a partnership agreement with the University of New Orleans," said Col. Rick Hansen, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District. "This mutually supportive relationship underscores the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs in the future of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the nation."

Some examples of how the agreement will be enacted include:

  • The Corps of Engineers will hire UNO students to work on projects through internships and other cooperative agreements at the Corps of Engineers New Orleans District.
  • The Corps of Engineers and UNO faculty will identify specific areas of research where UNO students can obtain academic credit for work on Corps projects.
  • The Corps of Engineers will involve UNO faculty on specific research projects through cooperative agreements.
  • The Corps of Engineers will loan or donate equipment to UNO.
  • The Corps of Engineers will establish a list of volunteer professionals—including Corps employees, contractors, vendors and other associates—to support mentoring and specialized teaching activities for UNO students.
By Admin (on 2/21/2014 @ 16:18:13, in ORSP Announcements, read 285 times)

NPR has an interesting piece on their website concerning recent allegations that a Chinese spy was trying to steal technology and that these allegations are in fact nothing new. Audie Cornish talks to James Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, about protecting U.S. technology from spying abroad.

You can listen to the story or read the transcript here:

By Admin (on 2/14/2014 @ 10:18:06, in ORSP Announcements, read 259 times)

The Merritt C. Becker University of New Orleans Transportation Institute and the Port of New Orleans announced a partnership that will focus on transportation research, community outreach and workforce development. In support of these projects, the Port will provide an in-kind match of organizational resources worth approximately $215,000 to the UNO Transportation Institute.

"This new partnership connects UNO students, faculty and staff with the Port of New Orleans, enabling cutting-edge freight research, outreach activities and workforce development," said John Renne, associate professor and director of the UNO Transportation Institute. "This partnership is a good example of what Governor Jindal is asking of Louisiana universities—to become more engaged with industry to create research and educational opportunities in sectors with strong job growth."

"This partnership with the University of New Orleans will promote economic development throughout the entire maritime community on the Lower Mississippi River," said Gary LaGrange, Port President and CEO. "By collaborating with stakeholders and utilizing the academic expertise of university leaders, we will enhance our community outreach efforts, strengthen the region's competitiveness and address future workforce needs through research and education initiatives. We look forward to continuing and growing our long-standing relationship with UNO."

The UNO Transportation Institute is a partner in two maritime-related University Transportation Centers, established by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The purpose of these centers is to advance U.S. technology and expertise in transportation through research, education and outreach while addressing vital workforce needs for the next generation of transportation leaders.

In order to fulfill its obligation as a member of these University Transportation Centers, the UNO Transportation Institute, in partnership with the Port of New Orleans, will engage in a number of projects including:

  • Investigate the best practices of liquefied natural gas bunkering.
  • Analyze the maritime industry's progress on e-Navigation, a concept designed to bring about increased safety and security in commercial shipping through better organization and exchange of data.
  • Hold a maritime workforce summit to educate high school and college students about maritime careers and connect employers with those seeking jobs in the maritime industry.
  • Develop a web-based K-12 maritime curriculum that will educate students about the history of the Port of New Orleans, its current operations and its international economic impact.
  • Work to establish the state's first chapter of the Women in Transportation Seminar, an international organization dedicated to building the future of transportation through the global advancement of women.
  • The Port of New Orleans' in-kind match of organizational resources includes facility space, personnel time, equipment and software.

The Merritt C. Becker University of New Orleans Transportation Institute focuses on the role of transportation in creating a sustainable, livable and resilient future. Faculty and staff associated with the institute are recognized for their expertise in transportation policy, maritime and port planning, evacuation planning, transit and streetcars, bicycle and pedestrian planning, and transit-oriented development.

By Carol Lunn (on 1/13/2014 @ 11:17:03, in ORSP Announcements, read 304 times)
The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Sponsored Programs Accounting, and Office of Technology Management & Commercialization are now located in the Administration Building, Suite 1005. We are in the space recently vacated by the Financial Aid office when they moved to the PEC. This new central location is meant to benefit faculty researchers across campus and provides one stop service for all sponsored projects services.

Our offices will host an Open House on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 from 2 pm Ė 4 pm. Come check out our new digs!

By Carol Lunn (on 10/14/2013 @ 16:42:29, in ORSP Announcements, read 468 times)
The UNO College of Engineering, in collaboration with Southeast Symposium for Contemporary Engineering Topics (SSCET), is proud to establish and offer the first UNO Engineering Forum (UNO-EF) at the University of New Orleans Research Technology Park on November 1, 2013. The events will be held concurrently in Lindy C. Boggs Conference Center and offer five parallel technical tracks providing solutions to contemporary engineering topics in electrical, naval, mechanical, and civil & environmental engineering.

The five parallel tracks cover topics in (1) Engineering Education; (2) Energy; (3) Electric Power Systems; (4) Student Projects; and (5) Civil, Coastal, & Environmental Engineering by presenters from participating universities and industries. Participants can earn up to 6 Professional Development Hours.

For more information please visit their website:

By Carol Lunn (on 9/30/2013 @ 13:48:18, in ORSP Announcements, read 382 times)
Last week was the annual reception to celebrate our researchers and to honor our research professor award recipients.

The Early Research Professor Award is recognition for persons who hold the rank of Assistant Professor, who have passed their third-year review and who have distinguished themselves in their creative and scholarly activities.

The winner of the 2013 Early Research Professor Award is: Brandon Taravella, Assistant Professor, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Dr. Brandon Taravella joined UNO in the Fall of 2009 as Assistant Professor for Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Prior to that, he was an adjunct instructor since 2005. In his relatively short time at UNO Dr. Taravella has successfully started and enhanced an externally funded research program exceeding 1.2 million in funding. These awards support UNO students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Brandon has also acquired equipment which greatly enhances the Engineering facilities such as a 3D printer and specialized PIV systems for the towing tank. Dr. Taravellaís robotic eel project has resulted in extremely positive public exposure for the College of Engineering and the University of New Orleans. Brandonís eel has been featured on television, in the news, and is on the front of the UNO Magazine. His funding sponsors include ONR, Trinity Marine Products, ATI Defense and the Vietnam Education Foundation. The University Research Professor award is recognition for persons who have achieved the rank of Associate Professor or Professor and who have distinguished themselves in their creative and scholarly activities.

The winner of the 2013 University Research Professor Award is: Steven Rick, Professor of Chemistry Professor Steven Rick joined UNO as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in 2000. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2005 and to Professor in 2010. During his tenure Dr. Rick has created and maintained an active and productive research program with national and international impact.

Dr. Rick has published 51 peer reviewed journal articles. Based on the Science Citation Index, his published work has been cited in scientific literature over 2,500 times, an extraordinary level of impact at his career stage. Dr. Rickís research group focuses on computational methods for understanding the interactions of molecules, including how water interacts with other molecules. These studies provide important information in understanding how proteins fold, which is important for disease treatment, and how new materials behave in the presence of water. In his 12 years at UNO, Steven has served as the chair of the Chemistry Departmentís Graduate Selections Committee and as the department webmaster. He has participated in numerous community outreach programs, providing informal science education opportunities in K-12 schools and other venues. He is an excellent mentor of young scientists and is also involved in the undergraduate research summer program. Dr. Rick has been a successful grant writer who has brought almost 1 million dollars since 2006 as a lead PI. His funding has derived from numerous agencies including the National Science Foundation, Tulane University partnerships, and the Board of Regents.
Currently, FastLane allows you to start a new proposal by copying from a previously submitted proposal or by using a previously created template.

Starting August 2, applicants will only be able to copy proposals submitted under the current version of NSF's Grant Proposal Guide (GPG).

Additionally, you will no longer be able to create and save templates in FastLane.

However, the standard process for creating a new proposal remains unchanged.

Also, when you create reports, which are now submitted in Research.Gov, you can log in using your Fastlane user ID and password.

University of New Orleans President Peter J. Fos announced that Kenneth W. Sewell has been named vice president for research and economic development. Sewell was vice president for research and economic development at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.

Sewell will oversee all research and economic development activities at the University of New Orleans, including those sponsored by the UNO Research and Technology Park, located on the University's Lakefront campus.

"Dr. Sewell brings over five years of experience in administering research and economic development at a major university," said President Peter J. Fos. "His ability to engage faculty in the promotion of research and his industry connections will help serve the mission of the University of New Orleans. I am certain that, with his guidance and leadership, the research portfolio of the University of New Orleans will improve significantly."

As the chief research officer for UNT, Sewell was responsible for promoting research, scholarship and artistic creativity in support of the entire mission of the university. He worked with deans, chairs and faculty, as well as funding agencies and other institutions, to enhance UNT's research profile.

Prior to his post as vice president, Sewell served as associate vice president from 2008 to 2013, and brings additional experience from a variety of administrative positions throughout his career. He has served on numerous key university-level committees and boards since joining UNT, including membership on the University Review Committee, and chairing the Institutional Review Board. Sewell was director of the UNT doctoral program in clinical psychology from 1996 to 2008.

Sewell graduated summa cum laude from Kansas State University with a bachelor's degree in psychology. He received his master's and doctoral degrees in psychology from the University of Kansas. Following a clinical internship with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Sewell joined UNT's Department of Psychology faculty in 1991.


In accordance with changes to the Public Health Services (PHS)’ Conflict of Interest (COI) Policy, UNO implemented a supplemental COI policy for individuals holding a PHS (which includes the National Institutes of Health) award, either direct or pass-thru award.  The policy was distributed last year and is attached for reference.  All individuals who meet the definition of an investigator must comply with the policy.  An investigator is defined as:  

 “any UNO individual (including faculty, staff, post docs, graduate assistants and students) who is responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of Sponsored Research or for the proposal of such Sponsored Research. For the purpose of this Policy, the term includes the following members of the Investigator’s immediate family: children, spouses of children, siblings, spouses of siblings, parents, spouse and spouse’s parents” (taken from the main COI policy which can be found on the COI website, link:


Someone who meets the definition of an investigator does not have to be listed as a Co-PI with the sponsor.

All investigators must complete the PHS Investigator COI Report.  If the individual is listed as a Co-PI on the routing form, the COI report is completed through the form.  All other investigators must complete and sign the paper report and either email, fax or send it to the Office of Research (attention Carol Mitton).  The report is attached and can be found on the COI website, link above.

In addition to the COI report, all investigators must complete the COI training; this training must be done before beginning work on the project and must be done every four years.  The training is done on-line through SharePoint (training link: To begin the training, click Add Document on the COI training page.  Questions or problems with the training can be directed to Carol Mitton at 280-5546 or  If students must take the training, their names must be sent to Carol Mitton to ensure they have access to the training site.

To enforce the report and training requirement, all payroll paperwork (101, Form 6) for individuals being paid from a PHS (such as NIH) direct or pass-thru award must include a statement in the comments section as to whether or not the individual meets the definition of an investigator. The paperwork will not be approved by Sponsored Programs Accounting without that statement.

At the time of a new PHS award, the Office of Research will send a separate email to the PI summarizing the policy, informing them whether they need to complete the training, and requesting a list of known individuals who meet the definition of an investigator. If necessary, these individuals will be notified of the COI requirements and asked to comply.  This is being done to minimize the potential of delay in processing their paperwork at a later date.  Attached is a procedure document that identifies the responsibilities of our office, Sponsored Programs Accounting and the PI.

Questions can be directed to Carol Mitton.

This email was sent to all employees.

Attached File:

By Carol Lunn (on 4/2/2013 @ 09:13:04, in ORSP Announcements, read 395 times)
The call for research professor nominations was sent to the colleges.

This honor is valued by the recipients who receive both recognition for their productivity and achievements. There are many faculty members who deserve this award for their contribution to scholarship and to the growing reputation of the University of New Orleans as one of the top 200 research universities in the United States of America.

The title, Early Research Professor, is recognition for persons who hold the rank of Assistant Professor at the time of their appointment, who have passed their third-year review and who have distinguished themselves in their creative and scholarly activities. The title, University Research Professor, is recognition for persons who have achieved the rank of Associate Professor or Professor and who have distinguished themselves in their creative and scholarly activities. The title, Chancellorís Research Professor, is recognition for persons who have achieved the rank of Professor and who have distinguished themselves in their creative and scholarly work while at the University.

The nomination packet for all three awards should be sent via email to The vita of the nominee should be attached to the email. The list of external reviewers, if required, and any additional materials should be either attached to or included in the body of the email. The email should originate with the Department Chair and be routed through the Dean for their notification and recommendation.

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