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Troy, N.Y. -  9/12/2012

Lighting Research Center Announces Besal Lighting Education Fund Award Recipients

LRC students receive two of three scholarships awarded this year


Indika Perera (left) and Ute Besenecker (right), recipients of the 2012-2013 Robert J. Besal Fund scholarshipsTroy, N. Y. – Ute Besenecker and Indika Perera, graduate students pursuing doctoral degrees in architectural sciences with a concentration in lighting at Rensselaer’s Lighting Research Center (LRC), are recipients of the 2012-2013 Robert J. Besal Fund scholarships.
Besenecker and Perera were selected for the merit-based scholarships for their outstanding record of academic excellence in lighting, and their submission of a lighting design in response to a challenge developed by the Besal Fund Selection Committee. This year, three Besal scholarships were awarded—with LRC students receiving two of the three awarded scholarships.
Besenecker is researching outdoor and transportation lighting at the LRC, with a focus on brightness perception as it relates to outdoor lighting solutions. Perera is a part of the LRC’s solid-state lighting program, researching thermal management for remote phosphor applications.
“Both Ute and Indika have demonstrated a strong commitment and understanding for lighting research and design. The Lighting Research Center is pleased to work with them and support them as future industry leaders. We are appreciative of this recognition from the Besal Fund and for their support of our students,” said Dan Frering, LRC manager of education.  
To apply for the Besal Scholarship, applicants were asked to submit a lighting design proposal for a 12-story insurance company that included offices, lounge areas, and conference rooms with old fixtures requiring renovation. Besenecker and Perera independently submitted conceptual renderings and luminaire selections that accounted for daylight harvesting, energy use, glare, cost, room occupancy, employee productivity, task performance, frequency of use, and durability of fixtures. Their designs included layouts and floor plans for office, lounge, and conference areas, and accounted for the needs of employees in these areas.
About the Besal Lighting Education Fund
The Besal Lighting Education Fund has awarded over $500,000 in scholarships to students in order to encourage talented and committed students to pursue a career in the lighting industry. The Besal Fund was established in 1983 as a nonprofit endowed fund, in honor of the late Robert J. Besal, whose 30 years of service in the lighting industry demonstrated knowledge, professionalism, and service. The Besal Fund is made possible by contributions from Acuity Brands Lighting, its sales representatives, and employees. Acuity Brands Lighting is North America’s largest manufacturer of lighting equipment for commercial, industrial, outdoor, and residential application.

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 conducts research in light and human health, transportation lighting and safety, solid-state lighting, energy efficiency, and plant health. 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. 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. Learn more at

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America's first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.