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Troy, N.Y. -  5/3/2016

Lighting Research Center Announces Besal Lighting Education Fund Award Recipient

Dinusha Thotagamuwa, a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Lighting at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lighting Research Center (LRC), has been selected for the 2016-2017 Robert J. Besal Fund scholarship. Dinusha received the highest award amount given out this year.
 
Scholarships are awarded to aspiring lighting engineers ranked in the top tier of all scholarship applicants of all schools. Dinusha was selected for the merit-based scholarship for his outstanding record of academic achievement in the field of lighting, and submission of a lighting design in response to a challenge developed by the Besal Fund Selection Committee.
 
“Dinusha has demonstrated academic excellence in his studies here at the Lighting Research Center. We appreciate this recognition from the Besal Fund and their support of our students,” said Dan Frering, Director of Educational Programs at the LRC.
 
The Besal Lighting Education Fund has awarded over $500,000 in scholarships to students from accredited schools throughout the United States.  Established in honor of the late Robert J. Besal, whose career of more than 30 years in the lighting industry exemplified the high standards of knowledge, professionalism and service, the Besal Fund aspires to encourage talented and committed students to pursue a career in the lighting industry.
 
The Robert J. Besal Memorial Education Fund is a trust established to provide a continuing program to improve education in illumination engineering and to find and recognize top lighting students and encourage their pursuit of lighting industry careers. Administered and invested by the Illuminating Engineering Society, the Besal Fund is made possible by contributions from Acuity Brands Lighting, its representatives and employees. 

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.”