Month: April 2012

CSGCC Awards Graduate Fellowship to Michael Keane

KeaneMichaelMichael Keane, a 3rd year PhD student in the Chemical Engineering Program, has received a highly prestigious Connecticut Space Grant Consortium fellowship award to continue his research in the field of high temperature solid state electrochemical device and systems development. Potential applications include life support (oxygen generation) and resource utilization (power generation and fuel production) for International Space Station and missions to Mars. The CT Space Grant Consortium, an organization that promotes aerospace-related research at universities across Connecticut in collaboration with NASA, selected the project after competitive peer review and selection process. The research proposal includes the development, design, testing, and evaluation of high temperature solid state electrochemical systems (600-800°C) that can operate efficiently in both fuel cell and electrolysis mode utilizing thermal energy available on board from solar cells. The novel architecture will include light weight electrochemical cells comprised of bi-electrolyte supported structure and highly active electrodes. Major focus of the research will be increasing the energy density and performance stability of these devices for improvements in payload capacity, mission endurance, and energy savings for NASA’s manned space missions.

Michael works with Professor Prabhakar Singh at the Center for Clean Energy Engineering (C2E2) and conducts research in the area of electrochemical materials development with focus on electrodics, fluorite and perovskite based electrode materials and interfacial degradation. Michael received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering (summa cum laude) from the University of Maine in 2009. He served as an intern at ConocoPhillips Technology Center (Bartlesville) in 2011. He is a member of ACerS, AIST, ASM International, and TMS. He has presented his research work at ICACC 2011 and 2012 and MST 2011.

Erik Carboni Received prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

  • Republished with permission of emagination, a School of Engineering electronic publication

Two engineering students have received prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (NSF GRF):  Erik Carboni, a doctoral candidate working in the laboratory of Dr. Anson Ma (Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Eng.) and senior Brittany Nkounkou (Computer Science & Engineering), who will pursue a doctoral degree at Cornell University in fall 2012.

Erik’s work involves the delivery of drug molecules to cancerous tumors via the use of nanoparticles. In particular, he is interested in the effect of blood flow on the diffusion and delivery of anti-cancer drugs to the tumor site.  Brittany, who is interested in programming languages, participated in UConn’s Bio-Grid NSF-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program led by Dr. Chun-Hsi Huang and also conducted research with Dr. Yufeng Wu.  NSF Graduate Research Fellows receive a three-year annual stipend $30,000 plus a yearly $12,000 cost-of-education allowance.  In 2011, NSF awarded just 2,000 Fellowships from 12,000 applicants.

Dr. Yu Lei named Castleman Term Professor

  • Republished with permission of emagination, a School of Engineering electronic publication

The School of Engineering has named five outstanding faculty members as inaugural Castleman Term Professors in Engineering Innovation. In making the announcement, Dean Mun Y. Choi noted, “Each of these outstanding individuals embodies exceptional achievements and the application of innovative approaches in research, education and outreach.” The three-year professorships recognize outstanding faculty members at the assistant and associate professor level and honor Professor Francis L. Castleman, who served as a distinguished Dean of Engineering during the formative years of the School of Engineering.

Horea Ilies, Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Ilies’ research focus is on the development of new engineering models, representations, algorithms, and design semantics to enable systematic, and efficient design, analysis and manufacturing of engineering artifacts. He has received approximately $2.9M in research funding, including the NSF CAREER Award, holds two U.S. Patents, and has 2 book chapters, 24 refereed journal articles along with 23 full-paper conference proceedings. Dr. Ilies is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journals of Computer Aided Design (Elsevier), as well as Computer Aided Design and Applications, and a member of the Executive Committee of the ASME Design Automation Conference.

Yu Lei, Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering. Dr. Lei’s research focuses on sensors and environmental biotechnology for diverse applications, ranging from the diagnosis of disease to new drug discovery, screening and food safety, as well as pollutants. His scholarly output includes three patents, two book chapters, 67 archival peer-reviewed journal publications and 68 conference abstracts, with over 700 non-self citations to date. Dr. Lei has received more than $2.6M in federal research funding since joining UConn in 2006. He serves on the Editorial Boards of the journals Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Analytical Letters and two newly launched journals, Materials Focus and Energy Focus.

Nicholas Lownes, Civil & Environmental Engineering. Dr. Lownes is Director of the Center for Transportation and Livable Systems (CTLS) at UConn, and his research program focuses on public transportation systems. His research efforts include: a Department of Homeland Security-funded project aimed at developing methods for identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities to natural and human disruptions in public transportation networks; and the application to U.S. networks of a novel method for the prediction of optimal network evolution based on the growth of slime mold. Dr. Lownes has received more than $1M in research funding to date.

Laurent Michel, Computer Science & Engineering. Dr. Michel, who joined UConn in 2002, holds expertise in the design and implementation of domain specific languages for combinatorial optimization. Dr. Michel has developed several influential systems including Newton, Numerica, the Optimization Programming Language OPL, the constrained-based library Modeler++ and the local search tools Localizer and Localizer++ and Comet. His research grants total more than $1.2M to date, including his NSF CAREER Award, and he has published two books, more than 25 journal papers and over 50 conference papers, with cumulative citations of over 1500. Dr. Michel also serves on the Editorial Boards of Constraints and Mathematical Programming Computation.

Mohammad Tehranipoor, Electrical & Computer Engineering. Dr. Tehranipoor joined UConn in 2006 and has published 36 journal papers, 124 conference papers, four books and 10 book chapters. His work has received 1,200 citations to date.  Dr. Tehranipoor’s areas of expertise span computer-aided design and testing, reliable systems design at the nanoscale, secure integrated circuit design, hardware security and trust, and design-for-testability. He has received an NSF CAREER Award, IEEE Computer Society’s Meritorious Service Award, and been recognized as a distinguished speaker for the IEEE Computer Society and ACM. Dr. Tehranipoor has received more than $3.5M in research funding and gifts since 2006.

The selection criteria for the Castleman Term Professorships included research productivity and impact; teaching contribution, including student mentorship and the development of novel teaching activities; professional service; and the promotion of leadership and collegiality within and beyond UConn.

Chemical Engineering PhD candidate Visited Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal

hom_sharmaKathmanduHom Sharma, a Chemical Engineering PhD candidate in Mhadeshwar’s research group, recently visited Kathmandu, Nepal to present a seminar at the Birenda Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University on “Environmental pollution from vehicles and emissions control technologies”. The seminar was held on January 19, 2012 with the objective of providing information about environmental pollution due to fossil fuel based vehicles and various aftertreatment technologies used in the Europe/America as well as creating awareness in the students, professors, and government officials about the growing problem of engine emissions in developing countries. The talk was well attended by graduate and undergraduate students along with faculty from the Chemistry Department at Tribhuvan University and government officials.
Hom holds a BSc degree in Chemistry from the Tribhuvan University and a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire. His research interests are kinetic modeling of emissions oxidation from diesel engine exhaust and design of sulfur resistant catalysts materials. He is currently a Department of Education GAANN Scholar advised by Dr. Ashish Mhadeshwar.

Dr. Peter Karp will be visiting CHEG as a Guest Professor

Peter KarpDr. Peter Karp, Director of the Bioinformatics Research Group at SRI International, will be visiting the CMBE Department at UConn as a Guest Professor this summer. Hosted by Professor Ranjan Srivastava, Dr. Karp will engage the UConn community through a series of seminars on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, as well as carry out research and develop collaborations with faculty at Storrs and the Health Center.

Dr. Karp is a researcher of the highest order and is internationally renowned. His work spans the fields of computational biology, bioinformatics, molecular biology, and biochemistry, with over 90 peer reviewed publications in the literature. He is the 25th most highly cited author in the field of Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, as well as being the 38th most highly cited in the field of Molecular Biology according to Microsoft Academic Research.

Dr. Karp received his B.A. from the University Pennsylvania and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University. From there, he went on to the National Institutes of Health to carry out a Postdoctoral Fellowship. Upon completion of the Fellowship, Dr. Karp took his position at SRI International. He had a brief hiatus at Pangea Systems, Inc. where he served as Vice President. He eventually returned to SRI International where he became an SRI Fellow and is the Director of the Bioinformatics Group.

Dr. Leslie Shor Recognized as Finalist in the Annual Women of Innovation Awards Dinner

shorWomenInnovationThe department would like to extend its congratulations to Leslie Shor for her recognition as a finalist in the 8th Annual Women of Innovation Awards Dinner hosted by the Connecticut Technology Council.
Every year, the Connecticut Technology Council recognizes the dedication and achievements of women in engineering, science and business in Connecticut.

Leslie Shor has been recognized in Academic Innovation and Leadership through her role as a leader and mentor of the Engineered Microhabitats Research Group for the University of Connecticut. She uses the artificial microbial habitats as a teaching tool to explore its effects on agriculture, biofuels and disease.