Flagler Forward: Flagler College Receives $30,000 Grant from Siemens to Fund Science Department Research

Siemens Grant Check Presentation in Ponce Courtyard
April 19, 2024
Flagler College is thrilled to announce the receipt of a grant from Siemens’ Empower+. This generous contribution, totaling $30,000, will support two vital initiatives within the College community.

The grant includes $25,000 for Flagler College Professor Matt Brown’s San Sebastian River Water Quality Research Project. Additionally, $5,000 has been allocated as the lead/title sponsor of Science Week, underscoring Siemens' commitment to fostering scientific education and innovation.

Brown’s research uses fecal bacteria such as Enterococcus as indicators of untreated waste, with the goal of tracing sources of fecal input to local waterways. He also aims to study the response of Enterococcus bacteria to saltwater exposure and its connections to the broader microbial community respiration. The results will help the City of St. Augustine target their funding for sewer conversion to the areas that need it the most. 

Siemens Grant - Science Faculty and Student in Ponce Courtyard

“The Empower+ grant will provide our students with the tools to explore topics such as biofuel optimization and partitioning of contaminant compounds. Allowing students to see the applications of their new skills right from the start is a powerful motivator for learning,” said Brown.

Specifically, the funds will allow the College to purchase critical laboratory equipment, provide research stipends for undergraduate student researchers, and cover travel and research dissemination expenses.

Steve Hoiberg, Director of Siemens Empower+ Programs, emphasized the importance of such transformative research endeavors. "Transformative research such as the study of the San Sebastian River and related environmental issues is not only an important part of the College’s core mission, but it’s critical to the State of Florida’s sustainable future," said Hoiberg. "This is the innovative, forward-thinking work that Siemens’ Empower+ program is passionate about supporting."

Empower+ from Siemens expands partnerships and supports customized programming in various areas, including sustainability, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics), student success, workforce development, energy efficiency, and community engagement. Through initiatives like Empower+, Siemens aims to collaborate with communities, schools, colleges, and universities to inspire the next generation of leaders.

Siemens, a global technology company focusing on industry, infrastructure, transport, and healthcare, believes that technology with purpose has the potential to address the greatest challenges of our time.

The partnership between Siemens and Flagler College has been ongoing since 2022, primarily focused on the renovation of Ponce Hall. Working together to enhance campus efficiency, Siemens and Flagler embarked on a project to construct a central chiller plant serving cooling needs across several campus buildings, including Ponce Hall, Kenan Hall, Molly Wiley Art Building, Ringhaver Student Center, and Proctor Library. This project, scheduled for completion in 2025, will generate energy efficiency and cost savings for the College.

Marc Craddock, a Flagler Alum, plays a pivotal role within the Siemens team as the higher education team lead for Siemens in Florida.

Flagler College is grateful to Siemens for its continued partnership and generous support, which enables the institution to pursue innovative research and educational opportunities for its students and the wider community.