Jeremy S. Guest, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been awarded the Bill Boyle Educator of the Year Award for 2016. Given by the Central States Water Environment Association, the award recognizes accomplishments in the education and development of future water environment professionals. Guest’s research is focused on sanitation and the development of biotechnologies that manage wastewater as a renewable resource for energy production, chemical production, and nutrient and water recovery. Educators at all levels are eligible for the award, which honors William C. Boyle, a professor emeritus of environmental engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Bruce Hajek, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, won an achievement award from the Association for Computing Machinery’s research group on performance evaluation, known as SIGMETRICS. Hajek researches ways that networks can react and stay reliable in the face of random outage-causing events. He also works on applying game theory to networking and studying peer-to-peer networks like BitTorrent. The achievement award is given to a member of the group who has made long-lasting, significant contributions to their fields of research. Hajek said he was especially glad to receive the award because it comes from a body of researchers who thoroughly understand his work.
Taylor Hughes, a professor of physics, has been selected for the 2015 Young Investigator Program of the Office of Naval Research, one of the oldest and most selective scientific research advancement programs in the country. Hughes will use the award, which extends his previous ONR-funded research, to explore new classes of electronic materials including crystalline topological insulators and topological semimetals, with interactions. Both of these classes of materials are expected to exhibit remarkable properties, some of which are yet to be predicted. The ultimate goal of this research program is to discover new unconventional topological phases of matter and to exploit the materials’ electromagnetic response properties that might provide a portfolio of capabilities not found in conventional materials. This work has implications for possible applications in electronic devices, superconductivity and quantum computing.
Princess U II Imoukhuede, a professor of bioengineering, has been awarded a Scientist Development Grant by the American Heart Association to fund her proposal “Predicting new targets for inducing sprouting angiogenesis via systems biology.” “Peripheral artery disease – or PAD – is a very significant health problem that affects more than 8 million Americans,” Imoukhuede said. “PAD is caused by blood vessel blockage, and there are currently no effective drugs that improve circulation to the limbs. Our proposal aims to identify new approaches to turn on blood vessel formation (angiogenesis/arteriogenesis) that can bypass the blocked artery.” Imoukhuede’s research team is developing a new class of nanosensors that can characterize how blood vessels form. Information from the nanosensors will be incorporated into new computer models that predict how blood vessel formation can be turned on in conditions similar to PAD. The accuracy of the model predictions will then be tested on cells grown in their lab.
Tomasz Kozlowski, a professor of nuclear, plasma, and radiological engineering, is the 2015 winner of the American Nuclear Society’s Landis Young Member Engineering Achievement Award. He was recognized for the development of advanced computational tools for best estimate safety codes and his expertise in training the next generation of users of these methods and codes at international workshops. Kozlowski has been recognized for contributions in the area of uncertainty analysis. The award recognizes an individual who has made significant technical contributions in any one of the many engineering disciplines the society serves. It particularly acknowledges achievement in which engineering knowledge has been applied to yield an engineering concept, design, safety improvement, method of analysis or product that is utilized in nuclear power research and development or commercial application.
Ting Lu, a professor of bioengineering, has been selected for a Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research. Lu, who also is a faculty researcher at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at Illinois, is interested in the design, construction and exploitation of bacterial gene regulatory networks for cellular functionality programming. “Foodborne illness is one of the leading public health challenges, causing roughly 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths in the United States every year," Lu said. "It is also a significant threat to the U.S. Navy, hindering the ability of deployed forces to respond to emergencies and maintain fleet operational readiness. Efforts have been made toward food quality improvement as well as pathogen detection and illness treatment. However, the strategies are unsuitable for active military because food quality control is limited in battlefields and pathogen detection may not be steadily available, but any illness outbreak is unaffordable. Instead, war-fighters need a solution that will keep them healthy and effective, even when they occasionally have foods with a reduced quality.” In this proof-of-concept study, Lu and his research team are constructing designer probiotic cocktails – mixtures of custom-tailored probiotic bacteria – to reduce potential foodborne illness. "Using bacterial pathogens as model foodborne pathogens, we will achieve our goal by engineering probiotic strains to inhibit the growth of specific pathogens and also to enhance host tolerance to these pathogens."
Yanfeng Ouyang, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been awarded the American Society of Civil Engineers’ prestigious Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize for 2015. Ouyang received the prize for his “pioneering research on transportation planning and management, particularly as it relates to sustainable, resilient and safe design of coupled complex transportation networks and infrastructure systems against internal and external risks and uncertainties.” Ouyang teaches undergraduate courses in systems engineering, transportation engineering and public transportation systems, as well as a graduate course on logistics systems. His research focuses on developing models and solution methods for problems in the areas of transportation systems, operations management, network optimization and logistics systems planning.
David Padua, a professor of computer science, has been named the recipient of the 2015 IEEE Computer Society Harry H. Goode Memorial Award. The award was established to recognize achievement in the information-processing field – either a single contribution of theory, design or technique of outstanding significance; or the accumulation of important contributions on theory or practice over an extended period. Padua was cited “for basic and lasting contributions to parallel languages, compilers and tools.” A Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering, Padua focuses his research on program analysis, transformation and optimization strategies. The main objective is to develop methodologies to facilitate the programmer's task of creating reliable, easy-to-maintain programs that achieve excellent performance. Ongoing projects include the study of program optimization strategies and the design of compiler techniques for new parallel programming constructs.
Josep Torrellas, a professor of computer science, is one of four prominent technologists who will receive the 2015 IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award in June. Torrellas is being recognized for his pioneering contributions to shared-memory multiprocessor architectures and thread-level speculation. During the last 15 years, Torrellas and his graduate students have made seminal research advances in the area of shared-memory multiprocessor architectures. The contributions span the areas of cache coherence, memory consistency, thread-level speculation and synchronization. These advances make it easier to program these machines while enhancing their performance. In addition, Torrellas’ work has addressed energy-efficiency issues in multiprocessor architectures. He has devised techniques to handle process variation and wear-out, dynamic voltage reduction, memory-refresh optimization, multiple voltage domains and 3-D architectures. “We explored many techniques that work together to make many cores more energy efficient,” he said. “It’s the work of many generations of students.”
Rizwan Uddin, a professor of nuclear, plasma, and radiological engineering, is the 2015 winner of the American Society for Engineering Education Glenn Murphy Award for his strong and enduring commitment to advancing the quality and impact of education in nuclear engineering, and for his ability to fully engage students in learning through innovative teaching styles and techniques. Uddin has offered distance instruction on an international level and has taken the lead in developing international courses in Italy and Jordan. He has developed groundbreaking advances in highly visual interactive teaching environments. Having established NPRE’s Virtual Education and Research Laboratory, Uddin has led the effort to develop interactive teaching materials for laboratory and design courses using software and hardware approaches adapted from the video gaming universe.
LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES
In “Forgotten Dreams: Revisiting Romanticism in the Cinema of Werner Herzog” (Camden House), Laurie Ruth Johnson, a professor of Germanic languages and literatures and of criticism and interpretive theory, offers not only an analytical study of Herzog's films but also a new reading of Romanticism's impact beyond the 19th century.
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A book written by Laurie Ruth Johnson, a professor of Germanic languages and literatures and of criticism and interpretive theory, was recently released by Camden House publishing. “Forgotten Dreams: Revisiting Romanticism in the Cinema of Werner Herzog” offers not only an analytical study of Herzog's films but also a new reading of Romanticism's impact beyond the 19th century. According to the publisher’s website, “(The book) argues that his films re-envision and help us better understand a critical stream in Romanticism, and places the films in conversation with other filmmakers, authors and philosophers in order to illuminate that critical stream. The result is a lively reconnection with Romantic themes and convictions that have been partly forgotten in the midst of Germany's postwar rejection of much of Romantic thought, yet are still operative in German culture today.” According to the publishers, the film analyses will interest scholars of film, German studies and Romanticism as well as a broader public interested in Herzog's films and contemporary German cultural debates. The book may also appeal to those interested in the ongoing renegotiation – by Western and other cultures – of relationships between reason and passion, civilization and wild nature, knowledge and belief.