Returning home to visit family and friends in China, UWM Professor Junhong Chen took the opportunity to identify potential donors who might be interested in supporting his research in the College of Engineering & Applied Science. Months later, Huawei Technologies Co. made a generous grant to support Professor Chen’s cutting-edge research on sensors. Huawei Technologies, based in Shenzhen, China, supports research of breakthrough innovations and advancements in world-changing civil technologies. Receiving this support is an acknowledgement of Professor Chen’s research, as well as UWM’s growing recognition as an international leader in the area of real-time sensors.
“On behalf of my research team, we are grateful for this investment,” says Professor Chen. “This unrestricted support will be put to use where we need it most, enhancing our laboratory, purchasing equipment, and supporting graduate researchers who are part of my team.”
Research like Professor Chen’s is what helped UWM recently earn the Carnegie Foundation’s prestigious classification as a top research university. This research also has the potential to save lives, both in the United States and abroad. His sensor platform, originally created to detect water contamination, is being repurposed as a low-cost virus sensor. Professor Chen’s team will give public health responders tools to rapidly detect and contain an Ebola outbreak. Equipped to detect seven Ebola-related proteins present in human body fluids, the sensor can help health care workers make on-the-spot decisions, manage resources more efficiently, and choose strategies for better disease containment.
“Huawei Technologies’ support of Dr. Chen’s research is helping us make significant advances in the areas of fresh water and health care,” says Engineering & Applied Science Dean Brett Peters. “I am excited that international companies are realizing how critical this research is to our world and that they recognize our college as a place to turn to for this crucial expertise.”