Introduction by Jan Nisbet, senior vice provost for research

Thursday, March 8, 2018
Spark 2018 introduction

This micrograph of fractured magnesium alloy, an image from the University Instrumentation Center’s scanning electron microscope, helps engineering faculty members like Marko Knezevic bring UNH research to the growing advanced manufacturing sector.

At the heart of every research endeavor is a question.

How and why does this work? How could we improve it? Who needs the most help, and how can we provide it in ways that enrich the community? As New Hampshire’s flagship public research university, we’re committed to applying this intellectual curiosity and passion toward solving some of the world’s grandest challenges.

In these pages of SPARK, we illustrate how University of New Hampshire researchers engage in important work at the cutting edge of knowledge and how their endeavors matter. Our scientists describe harnessing the latest advances in biotechnology to deliver medicine more effectively, address addiction or even engineer new tissue. Researchers ponder who will care for our aging population and how we can support seniors to thrive and remain healthy. Our engineering faculty members and students work to make cars lighter and more fuel-efficient while maintaining their safety, and researchers across disciplines are listening closely for insights into the oceans and landscapes around us to discover new resources and protect species and the environment. Here on New Hampshire’s Seacoast, we’re asking — and answering — questions that focus on the continued health of the treasured, fragile Great Bay estuary.

With each story in this issue, our researchers, together with our students, ponder not only “Why?” and “How?” but “So what?” Will the outcome make our lives healthier, our economy and technology stronger, our world better and safer? How can we move our ideas and discoveries into the marketplace to create jobs and support economic growth? I’m proud to showcase how our research makes a difference to us all.


Jan Nisbet
Senior Vice Provost for Research
University of New Hampshire