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Friday, Mar 23, 2018 at 1:42 pm

Live at 6 | New Maxwell Environmental Program

By Anna Azallion – Syracuse, N.Y. (CitrusTV) – Thanks to a $250,000 gift from alumnus James Ajello, a new professorship is creating new research opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students.

Peter Wilcoxen is the inaugural Ajello Professor in Energy and Environmental Policy. He says Ajello is interested in interdisciplinary work to merge social and natural sciences in energy and environmental policy.

Wilcoxen is a professor of public administration and international affairs at the Maxwell School and is in charge of overseeing the new research opportunities.

These research projects will focus on energy and environmental issues. Wilcoxen talked about two research projects that students might work on, one involving electrical grids and one involving high frequency electricity monitoring systems.

Funding will also be used for seed grants, or funding for small research projects made up of interdisciplinary teams. The individuals on those projects will be able to publish a few papers which will then help them to have credibility if they were to apply for grants in interdisciplinary research later on.

Wilcoxen says students will be learning more than just research skills.

“We’ll have students working on all kinds of things because we want people to learn about how to do interdisciplinary research but we also want to give them a bunch of tools that they’ll be able to use in their careers,” Wilcoxen said.

Some of those tools include statistical analysis, geographic information systems, and working with big data. The Maxwell Advisory board told Wilcoxen these skills are important for graduates of the maxwell school.

These new research opportunities will begin in the fall.