Three College of Science faculty members awarded Luksburg Foundation Collaboration Grants

Author: Joya Helmuth

Three College of Science faculty members are among eight at Notre Dame to be awarded Luksburg Foundation Collaboration Grants for projects with Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) faculty in Santiago, Chile.


Through a generous gift, the Luksburg Foundation began this grant program in 2013 with Notre Dame International and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies to encourage collaboration between Notre Dame and PUC faculty to further their research. Grants have been awarded over the years to more than 40 projects in 20 disciplines.


“This is a tremendous program for Notre Dame faculty and staff to engage in collaborative projects ranging from cultural studies to economics, physics to theatre with colleagues at the Catholic University in Chile,” said Steve Reifenberg, co-director of the Integration Lab of the Keough School of Global Affairs and a Kellogg Fellow. “The cumulative impact of these investments over the past four years has been remarkable in building long-term relationships and research partnerships.”


Three College of Science faculty were awarded grants for the following projects for the 2017-2018 academic year:


“Masterclass Institutes Collaborating in the Americas IV”

           Kenneth Cecire, physics

           Benjamin Koch, Marco Aurelio Diaz, and Pedro Ochoa, PUC


“X-ray Crystallography Course at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile”

            Allen Oliver, chemistry and biochemistry

            Rene Rojas Guerrero, PUC


“Efficacy of copper-based oxide materials involved in energy-related processes”

           Sylwia Ptasinska, physics and radiation laboratory

           Alejandro Cabrera, PUC



Faculty based in the Colleges of Arts and Letters, Engineering, and the Keough School of Global Affairs were awarded the following grants:


“University and Catholicism: Memory Studies as a Project of Cultural Politics”

           María Rosa Olivera-Williams, romance languages and literatures

           Cristián Opazo Retamal, PUC


“The Notre Dame-PUC Luksburg Conference on Development Economics”

            A. Nilesh Fernando, economics

           Jeanne Lafortune and Jose Tessada, PUC


“A Novel Privacy-Aware Online Scheduling Strategy for Smart Homes in Santiago, Chile”

            Yiyu Shi, computer science and engineering

            Daniel Olivares Quero and Matias Negrete-Pincetic, PUC


“Devised Theater”

            Anton Juan and Anne Garcia-Romero, film, television and theatre

            Alexei Vergara, PUC


“The strong proposals we received from Notre Dame faculty members from several disciplines across the University is a testament to the quality of our partnership with the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and to Notre Dame’s commitment to the region,” said Warren von Eschenbach, associate vice president and assistant provost for internationalization.


More information about the Luksburg Foundation Collaboration Grants, including details on former recipients, can be found here.


Contact: Joya Helmuth, director of operations and communication, Notre Dame International,


Originally published by Joya Helmuth at on November 27, 2017.