One of West Virginia University research leaders has been asked to be part of an international team that will conduct a detailed assessment of research being performed at universities and research institutions in Italy.

Mridul Gautam is WVU’s associate vice president for research and a Robert C. Byrd Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. He was invited to help examine the growing body of Italian research by Italy’s National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes.

According to Sergio Benedetto, a member of the agency’s board of directors and coordinator of the review project, Gautam will serve on one of 14 panels called “groups of experts in evaluation.” Each group will be devoted to a research area. The members of the groups were chosen according to rigorous criteria of scientific competence.

Gautam said the assignment will require him to review a collection of research produced by Italian universities and laboratories to evaluate their potential for contributing to the advancement of knowledge as original innovations.

“The evaluation process has an enormous importance for the Italian research community,” Gautam said.

National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes was established in 2006 as a public institution supervised by Italy’s ministry of education. It has responsibility for evaluating programs of universities and public research institutions that receive public funds and assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of public financing for incentives focused on research and innovation.

Gautam is an internationally recognized expert in the area of heavy-duty mobile source exhaust emissions, gas-solid flows, aerosol sampling and particulate matter measurement, characterization, and control. He has been instrumental in the development and operation of the National Research Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions program at WVU.

Gautam was responsible for initiating the heavy-duty engine, fuels and emissions program at WVU in 1988. He has served as the principal investigator or the co-principal Investigator of several research programs with a total funding level in excess of $80 million. He has authored/co-authored more than 300 technical articles.

His work on the agency project supports a major objective of the WVU Strategic Plan: “to advance international activity and global engagement.”



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CONTACT: Gerrill Griffith, WVU Research Corp.
(304) 293- 3743;