Letter from the vice president for research

David Rosowsky

Welcome to the spring 2023 issue of Kansas State University’s Seek magazine, our award-winning publication highlighting the breadth of research and scholarship, discovery and impact taking place at K-State — in our laboratories, our research facilities, our field stations and our communities.

K-State is a public research university with a growing research portfolio and an expanding reach of discovery, innovation and impact. Research is an integral part of our mission as a land-grant university. And we are forging stronger and more substantive connections between research and economic development every day. Our bold Economic Prosperity Plan leverages K-State’s research strengths, faculty expertise and unique facilities to help to create new jobs and bring new investments into Kansas. This plan will help to make the state globally competitive for attracting and growing businesses in key industry sectors such as animal health, agriculture and biodefense.

But we don’t stop there. Our new Gamechanging Research Initiation Program, or GRIP, is investing in the most promising transdisciplinary research teams to pursue research on big problems, grand challenges and emerging opportunities. Whether in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, new materials, energy solutions, global food systems, water security, health care or vaccine production, K-State researchers are at the leading edge, creating the technologies that will secure our future and training the next generation of professionals in critical fields.

This issue of Seek is packed with stories about amazing research, conducted by amazing people, and having amazing impact — throughout the state, across the nation and around the world. The cover story and main feature highlight two of the themes of our Economic Prosperity Plan: digital agriculture and advanced analytics, and food and agriculture systems innovation. A second feature highlights one of our unique and most productive research facilities, the James R. Macdonald Laboratory, which studies atomic, molecular and optical, or AMO, physics. K-State’s AMO program is one of the largest of its kind and consistently ranks among the very top programs in the nation. The Macdonald Lab has been continuously funded for nearly five decades by the U.S. Department of Energy, or DOE, and has received research funding in excess of $100 million during its history from DOE and numerous other federal agencies.

The third feature story highlights research that aligns with another theme of our Economic Prosperity Plan: K-State 105. You can learn about the new Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab in Hale Library and how it is supporting research and enabling discovery by students, faculty and community members.

In our final feature, you can read about important new research on human health and how we are translating new knowledge and understanding to improve the lives of Kansans. Finally, there are several shorter features that highlight faculty and students as well as a recent announcement about an exciting new K-State 105 partnership.

Thank you for your interest, your support, your partnership and your engagement. This is an exciting time for Kansas State University as we work together to define, create and model the next-generation land-grant university. Research, discovery, technology commercialization and economic prosperity will all be core elements of our exciting future.

David V. Rosowsky, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research