Alabama academic researchers powering new discoveries

Groundbreaking research from universities across the state of Alabama are bringing new developments to industry, health care and community life. Projects which have been nationally recognized have received millions of dollars in funding support to continue their work in the state.

Examples of research work include:

Studies of carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites by an engineering professors at the University of South Alabama, to be used in the construction of new airplanes. This work has been funded by institutions including NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. Collaborative work has also been undertaken with global leaders in the aerospace industry, including companies such as Airbus. Partnering with Airbus allows for renewed research vision and efforts towards further innovative research in composite materials.

Airbus also has worked with USA and Auburn University by donating large airplane components for students and faculty to use in their studies. The partnership is helping to create aviation leaders of the future, the company says.

At the other end of the state, at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a new $2 million wind tunnel system is capable of supersonic flow research with air speeds of up to 2,000 mph.

The facility puts UAH in an elite group of institutions nationwide with such research prowess. Test applications include supersonic engine intakes, scramjets and hybrid space vehicles and components.

The wind tunnel has also provided valuable experience for students.

An estimated $2.4 billion in federal research and development funds are spent each year in Alabama. It ranks 11th among the 50 states, according to a report from the nonprofit think tank RAND Corp.

Other research projects from Alabama’s universities include:

  • Auburn university – assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has received a five-year, $703,000 CAREER Award. Received from the National Science Foundation to study the problem of coastal red tides.
  • Stephen Secor, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alabama, is exploring the ability of snakes to grow and restructure particular organs. His that work could affect future treatments for diabetes and other diseases in humans.
  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham and Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology are partners in a project training postdoctoral fellows in genomic medicine.

When claiming the R&D credit, the rates used to calculate the credit hinge on whether or not the taxpayer worked through a university. Other factors include how many years the credit is being claimed:

  • Less than 3 years of QRE and did NOT work through a university = 2.5%
  • Less than 3 years of QRE and did work through a university = 3.125%
  • 3 years of QRE and did NOT work through a university = 5%
  • 3 years of QRE and did work through a university = 6.25%

Contact Swanson Reed today to find out more about the credit and if you qualify.

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