FIVE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING faculty received prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER awards, which recognize faculty members at the beginning of their academic careers who have developed creative projects that effectively integrate advanced research and education.
Industrial and Systems Engineering Assistant Professor Oguzhan Alagoz is developing a modeling framework for disease screening and diagnosis. He will focus on two broad areas of research in breast cancer: optimizing cancer screening policies for various populations of women and optimizing follow-up decisions, such as biopsy and short-term follow-up recommendations. Alagoz’s work is the first study to use stochastic optimization techniques and clinical data to find cost-effective strategies for breast cancer screening. His award totals $430,000.
Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor Stark Draper will create algorithms that could allow computers to better present streaming data in real time, thereby addressing a fundamental problem in digital communication technologies. Computers are designed to handle data delivered in whole, which computers then process and present to users. However, modern communication data is more commonly presented in an instantaneous stream. The central technical question Draper will address is how feedback should be used to transmit delay-sensitive data. His award totals $400,000.
Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Dan Negrut is calculating granular flow dynamics with high-performance parallel computational hardware, and Negrut’s team has created simulations that can calculate all the collisions between 10 million bodies in as little as four seconds. His work to solve dynamics equations with parallel computers has broad applications, ranging from construction and military vehicle design to looking at the movement of atoms. His award comes with a $408,911 grant.
Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor Brenda Ogle will develop a system to accurately analyze and sort cell fusion products, or “hybrid” cells, and to use the system in conjunction with previously developed technologies to examine the effects of heterotypic cell fusion on hybrid cell function, both in vitro and in vivo. Stem cell fusion with somatic cells is a regulated process capable of promoting cell survival and differentiation and could be important in tissue development and repair or in disease pathogenesis. Ogle’s award totals $400,000.
Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Kevin Turner is studying the underlying physics and mechanics of adhesion during micro-transfer printing — a process that “prints” with solid materials rather than ink. A silicon stamp is designed with a smooth side that is used to pick up nano- or microstructures in a substrate and set them down in another substrate. Turner will research how to improve micro-transfer printing manufacturing techniques, which eventually could produce a host of innovative technologies as the process becomes more common. His award totals $430,000.
THE COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL Academy of Sciences has named Industrial and Systems Engineering Professor Emeritus Stephen Robinson and Steenbock Professor of Engineering Physics Ray Fonck national associates of the National Research Council of the National Academies. Robinson was a member of the National Research Council Board on Mathematical Sciences and Their Applications, and the National Research Council Committee on Modeling and Simulation for Defense Transformation. He currently is a member of the National Research Council Committee on Experimentation and Rapid Prototyping in Support of Counterterrorism. Fonck was a five-year member of the National Research Council Board on Physics and Astronomy, co-chair of the National Research Council Burning Plasma Assessment Committee, and a member of the National Research Council Fusion Science Assessment Committee.
John P. Morgridge Professor and E. David Cronon Professor of Computer Sciences and Electrical and Computer Engineering Gurindar (Guri) Sohi was among 65 engineers and nine foreign associates elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2009. His research on high-performance computer system design has led to papers and patents that have influenced both research and commercial microprocessors.
Electrical and Computer Engineering Associate Professor Zhenqiang (Jack) Ma received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in December 2008. Ma is a leader in flexible electronics, devices created with extremely thin sheets of semiconductors, called nanomembranes, only a few atoms thick.