SUNY Poly faculty receive $20,000 grant for development of innovative online learning tool

SUNY Poly faculty receive $20,000 grant for development of innovative online learning tool

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 09:30
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For Release:        Immediate—Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Contact:              Jerry Gretzinger, Vice President of Strategic Communications and Public Relations

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Professors Recognized with SUNY Innovation Instruction Technology Grant

Utica, NY – In accordance with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s innovation education model, SUNY Polytechnic Institute today announced two faculty members have been awarded $20,000 in funding from SUNY’s 2014 Innovative Instruction Technology Grants (IITG) program for their work in advancing online learning opportunities.

Daniel Jones, associate professor of mechanical engineering technology, and Mohammed Abdallah, assistant professor of electrical engineering technology, are developing a novel on-line approach to providing remote student access to lab environments. The project has significant potential for use across the entire SUNY system, as it will enable students who don’t have direct and immediate access to required laboratory equipment to fulfill general education requirements.

“The IITG program is an opportunity for faculty to take their most innovative teaching and learning techniques to the next level, not only fostering their ideas on their home campus but teaming with colleagues across SUNY to implement them elsewhere within our system,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. “SUNY Poly’s advancement of online learning technologies is a fantastic example of how the excellent work being done on individual campuses can benefit our entire SUNY system.”

“In accordance with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s strategy to provide high-tech workforce training opportunities across New York State, and Chancellor Nancy Zimpher’s educational template, the innovative thinking demonstrated by Professors Abdallah and Jones will enable a new world of online learning, further enhancing student access to SUNY Poly's world class tools and resources,” said Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, CEO and Officer in Charge of SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

“In keeping with Governor Cuomo’s vision for continued innovation across the State University system, I am pleased to congratulate Professors Jones and Abdallah for their unparalleled work in an area that will directly help students earn a SUNY degree,” said Dr. Robert Geer, Senior Vice President and COO for SUNY Poly. “SUNY Poly faculty are committed to excellence in teaching and research, and this project is an outstanding example of innovation in both areas.”

Hands-on laboratory experiences are a vital component of electrical and mechanical engineering technology programs. As online distance learning becomes increasingly popular, the ability to provide remote student access to lab environments is essential.

“Most of the development tools and hardware currently in place are too expensive for students to acquire on their own, so they must be purchased, installed, and hosted on the campuses of universities,” said Dr. Abdallah. “Our project will enable online laboratory experimentation through dedicated software, live video streaming and remote maneuverability of lab robots.”

“The combined use of software, cameras and robotics will remove limitations in online learning,” said Dr. Jones. “The results of this project will greatly expand capabilities for e-students, who will be able to remotely engage in a wide range of lab experiments from anywhere at anytime.”



About SUNY POLY.  SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem, formed from the merger of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and SUNY Institute of Technology. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience and nanoeconomics programs at its Albany campus, and degrees in technology, professional studies, and the arts and sciences at its Utica/Rome campus. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts more than $20 billion in high-tech investments, over 300 corporate partners, and maintains a statewide footprint. The 1.3 million-square-foot Albany NanoTech megaplex is home to more than 3,500 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, faculty, and staff. The Utica/Rome campus offers a unique high-tech learning environment, providing academic programs in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, with degrees and course offerings in natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences. Thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. SUNY Poly operates the Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI) at Kiernan Plaza in Albany, the Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon, the Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility in Rochester, and the Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center (STC) in Canandaigua. SUNY Poly founded and manages the Computer Chip Commercialization Center (Quad-C) on its Utica campus, and is lead developer of the Marcy Nanocenter site, as well as the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Complex, Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub, and Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub. For information visit and