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Troy, N.Y. -  6/7/2013

LRC Student Receives Illuminating Engineering Society Graduate Grant

Photo of ErinErin Ryan, a graduate student pursuing her master’s degree in lighting at the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the recipient of a $15,000 Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) Graduate Grant. The grant program encourages advanced scholarly work in the field of lighting design and illuminating engineering by funding student research projects leading to advanced degrees.
 
Ryan will investigate the relationship between daytime light exposure and performance, and look at the effects of chronic daytime circadian light deprivation on performance.
 
“We all know through personal experience that our environment impacts our behavior and mood,” said Ryan. “Humans spend considerable time indoors where environmental factors such as lighting are often not taken into consideration. We as humans can be impacted negatively when designs do not take into account these environmental factors.”
 
LRC Light and Health researchers have studied the effect of light on alertness both during the day and at night. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects are not fully understood.
 
“Erin has proven herself as an excellent student and intuitive researcher. As her advisor, I have been impressed with her enthusiasm, interest, and understanding of the subject matter and her willingness to assist in the research and design work that we are doing,” said Mariana Figueiro, LRC Light and Health Program director and associate professor at Rensselaer. “I expect her research to yield interesting results that will ultimately help us to design better working environments for people.”  
 
“IES has a strategic goal of promoting lighting research in order to advance the art and science of applied lighting,” said Rita Harrold, IES Director of Technology. “This year the Society has initiated a Graduate Student Grant Program to provide funding support for student research projects leading to advanced degrees. Congratulations to Erin for receiving one of the first awards to be granted.” 

About the Lighting Research Center
The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the world's leading center for lighting research and education. Established in 1988 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the LRC has been pioneering research in solid-state lighting, light and health, transportation lighting and safety, and energy efficiency for nearly 30 years. LRC lighting scientists with multidisciplinary expertise in research, technology, design, and human factors, collaborate with a global network of leading manufacturers and government agencies, developing innovative lighting solutions for projects that range from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to U.S. Navy submarines to hospital neonatal intensive-care units. LRC researchers conduct independent, third-party testing of lighting products in the LRC's state of the art photometric laboratories, the only university lighting laboratories accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP Lab Code: 200480-0). In 1990, the LRC became the first university research center to offer graduate degrees in lighting and today, offers a M.S. in lighting and a Ph.D. to educate future leaders in lighting. With 35 full-time faculty and staff, 15 graduate students, and a 30,000 sq. ft. laboratory space, the LRC is the largest university-based lighting research and education organization in the world.

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America’s first technological research university. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in engineering; the sciences; information technology and web sciences; architecture; management; and the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Rensselaer faculty advance research in a wide range of fields, with an emphasis on biotechnology, nanotechnology, computational science and engineering, data science, and the media arts and technology. The Institute has an established record of success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace, fulfilling its founding mission of applying science “to the common purposes of life.”