10 ASU engineering faculty receive National Science Foundation CAREER Awards

Fulton Schools of Engineering faculty members continue record of dynamically solving research challenges


April 22, 2019

Ten faculty members in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University received National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Awards between September 2018 and April 2019. The awards total an estimated $5 million to fund their projects over the next five years.

The Fulton Schools of Engineering’s culture of innovation and discovery, strong research community and excellent infrastructure appeal to young faculty members who are set to become leaders in their respective fields. In the past four years, 29 Fulton Schools researchers have earned NSF’s most prestigious award for early career faculty. FSE faculty members receive 10 NSF CAREER Awards Ten faculty members in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering have received National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Awards between September 2018 and April 2019. Download Full Image

“I’m proud we’re continuing to attract faculty whose powerful ideas lead to discoveries of foundational value to their fields with potentially transformational breakthrough applications,” said Kyle Squires, dean of the Fulton Schools. “These awards enable our junior faculty to impact an array of critical problem sets in engineering and science, and improve our nation’s future.”

The selected projects cross several specialties represented within the Fulton Schools of Engineering. Their transformational influence ranges from assembling polymers at the nanoscale to spanning the globe across interconnected networks. The projects are supported by grants from the NSF’s Engineering Directorate (seven CAREER Awards), the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate (two), and the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (one).

ASU ties with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in leading the nation in the number of CAREER awards funded by the NSF Engineering Directorate from September 2018 to April 2019. 

Earning the NSF CAREER Award is a hallmark achievement for young faculty members who have each developed a comprehensive plan to conduct impactful research and deliver a rich educational experience for students.

• Heather Emady, an assistant professor in the School for the Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, will explore how granular particles behave across engineering and manufacturing processes and how they can be employed to make different kinds of products or make manufacturing processes more effective.

• Stephanie Gil, an assistant professor in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering, will develop an algorithmic and mathematical framework to achieve better coordination and localization among fleets of robots for missions in emergency response, search and rescue, space exploration, transportation safety and more.

• Matthew Green, an assistant professor in the School for the Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, will develop a modular synthetic strategy to control the amount and type of charged groups within polyelectrolyte block polymers, enabling correlations between polymer structural characteristics and nanoscale assembly features and mechanical properties.

• Zachary Holman, assistant professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, looks to better understand and augment the behavior of solar cell electrical contacts to increase the efficiency of solar energy conversion in an effort to create solar cells that are 10-15% more efficient than solar cells today.

• Hyunglae Lee, an assistant professor in the School for the Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, is developing an innovative framework called Transparent Robotic-Aided Rehabilitation that is being used in exercise therapy to significantly improve the effectiveness of robot-aided rehabilitation for stroke survivors. 

• Qin Lei, an assistant professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, is working to accelerate the development and deployment of a new class of efficient, lightweight and reliable high-power, high-voltage power converters based on the series and parallel connected low-voltage, wide-bandgap semiconductors.

• Mohamed Sarwat, an assistant professor in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering, is building innovative scalable technologies capable of seamlessly connecting data collected from various internet of things devices.

• Junliang Tao, an associate professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, is exploring the unique mobility methods animals and plants use underground to guide designs for burrowing sensor robots to enable improved soil studies for advanced geotechnical engineering endeavors.

• George Trichopoulos, an assistant professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, is pursuing advances in terahertz wave-emitting technology to develop the next generation of terahertz cameras for more effective indirect imaging of objects to aid public safety, emergency response, rescue operations, and police and firefighting services.

• Chao Wang, an assistant professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, is developing ExoMiRChip, an integrated fluidic device on a silicon chip to improve the capabilities of liquid biopsy to diagnose cancer and infectious and neurodegenerative diseases.

A list of the Fulton Schools of Engineering faculty members who have received the NSF CAREER Award since 2015 is available on the Fulton Schools of Engineering website.

Lanelle Strawder

Content & PR Manager, Communications, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

480-727-5618

 
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Keep on writing on, downtown Phoenix

"No matter where you go in Phoenix, you still see the desert."
Urban underground art influenced redesign of lit journal Write On, Downtown.
April 23, 2019

Relaunch of formerly student-centric literary journal Write On, Downtown to be more inclusive of the community it represents

Among the uninitiated, Phoenix might conjure less-than-savory thoughts of suburban sprawl, ecological challenges or a dearth of history.

But the truth is every place has its own unique stories to tell, rooted in the lives of those who call it home.

This Friday, the relaunch of Write On, Downtown, the long-running literary journal that originated on Arizona State University's Downtown Phoenix campus, endeavors to prove that point. The relaunch event will take place at noon at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix and is free and open to the public.

“You're going to know that it represents Phoenix before you even open it,” said Rosemarie Dombrowski, senior lecturer of English at ASU and one of the founders of the journal.

Since it got its start in 2006, Dombrowski has guided Write On, Downtown’s evolution from “a journal of student writing on the downtown campus” to “a journal of student and community writing on the downtown campus” to its current iteration as “a journal of Phoenix writing” — full stop.

The decision to begin including writing from community members in addition to students — and to forgo the distinction in the journal’s subtitle — felt natural and necessary, she said, “because student or civilian, we're all part of the Phoenix community.”

In order to create something that felt like a more authentic reflection of the city and its people, Dombrowski partnered with Assistant Professor Danielle Foushee, whose design students collaborated with Dombrowski’s to give the journal a new look.

While Dombrowski’s students read, sorted and edited dozens of submissions, Foushee’s read the ones that made the final cut and toured the city, riding the light rail from end to end, for inspiration.

Digital culture senior Damon Amato was struck by the landscape and plant life, basing his black and white cover and layout design around that.

“No matter where you go in Phoenix, you still see the desert,” he said.

Before they started designing, Foushee gave her students a crash course in urban underground art. They studied psychedelia, hip-hop and punk with an eye toward giving the journal more of a DIY-zine aesthetic.

“We wanted to make it more exciting and responsive to the content,” Foushee said. “We wanted it to really convey what it means to be urban in Phoenix.”

Valley resident David Chorlton knows a bit about that. He lived near the intersection of Central Avenue and McDowell Road for 38 years. Three of his poems are featured in the latest issue of Write On, Downtown, and one pays homage to the grackles he used to observe on Grand Avenue.

Originally from Austria, Chorlton lived in various cities throughout Europe before moving to Phoenix in the 1970s, where he became fascinated with the wildlife of the desert.

Coming from a continent where ancient history is a part of everyday life, it was an adjustment learning to appreciate the sometimes subtle beauty and nuances of a city that has been criticized for lacking culture. Today, it’s one of his favorite subjects to write about and having an outlet to express that is something he believes has the power to strengthen communal bonds.

“We sometimes underestimate the places we live in,” he said. “But we still have people who are trying to make it together in a community, and I think literature of any kind serves to give a new kind of insight into the place where we live.”

Central Phoenix resident Bonnie Murphy agrees.

“It is absolutely essential that we have writing and reading communities in every single city,” she said. “We all need to be heard and we all need to read the voices of others. We all need to be understood and to understand.”

On a recent Monday in March, Dombrowski and Foushee’s students came together in a classroom on the Tempe campus to finalize their cover and layout design choice. Spanning an entire wall of the room were illustrations depicting technicolor saguaros, bustling light rail trains and cityscapes silhouetted by clear, star-studded night skies.

Dombrowski was admittedly torn. “You guys have made this decision really hard,” she said.

Head to Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix this Friday to see the final design and pick up a copy for yourself.

Top photo: Assistant Professor Danielle Foushee pins one of her student's designs to a wall. Photo by Charlie Leight, ASU Now