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Research Recognitions

Doug Birdwell, Wei Gao, Jon Hathaway, Donatello Materassi, Kai Sun, Cong Trinh, Brian Wirth, Jie Wu, and Tom Zawodzinski

Brian Wirth Named 2016 AAAS Fellow

Brian Wirth, Nuclear Engineering, was named a 2016 fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

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Birdwell Named to National Academy of Inventors

Doug Birdwell, professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer science, named to the National Academy of Inventors.

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Wei Gao receives NSF Career Award

Mobile computing has been an indispensable part of modern life. However, diverse manufacturing limits make current mobile devices far from ideal for being used anytime, anywhere. Traditional solutions design individual mobile devices for different application scenarios by exploring tradeoffs among the various design perspectives, but cannot scale to the increasing complexity and performance requirements of future mobile applications.

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Sustainability Efforts Net Hathaway Prestigious NSF CAREER Award

Dr. Jon Hathaway recently earned a prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for his work in sustainable urban water management. Hathaway’s project aims to develop strategies for more effective modeling and strategic placement of green infrastructure in urban watersheds over a five-year period. The project could lead to more effective urban watershed restoration, where stakeholders can more confidently test proposed strategies prior to installation. Such improvements will allow maximized public and ecological benefit with available resources

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Materassi Selected for National Science Foundation Career Award

Dr. Donatello Materassi’s research is focused on designing control systems through the use of “non-invasive observations.” If a system is operating in a stable manner, it is not desirable to interfere with its operations by injecting a probing input just to try to understand its behavior. Indeed, any injected input might compromise the integrity or the stability of the system. The capability of designing controllers by making use of noninvasive observations is of paramount importance for any large-scale network fulfilling critical or uninterruptible functions (i.e., a power grid, a logistic system) or in situations where it is impractical or too expensive to inject known probing signals into the system (i.e., a gene network, a financial network). Other relevant applications are in medicine (i.e., repeated drug testing, automatically assisted anesthesia, deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease). Response of the patient to a different drug dosage or stimulation if comparably useful information could be inferred from passively obtained observations.

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Research Into Power Systems Nets UT’s Sun NSF CAREER Award

As power systems become more interconnected and complex, one of the key concerns has been developing new ways to monitor and control them. Keeping an eye on such systems and detecting problems within them has become something of a specialty for faculty at UT. Sun’s work – “Integrated Research and Education in Nonlinear Modal Decoupling and Control for Resilient Interconnected Power Systems” – focuses on finding new ways to understand and prevent power system instability, improving accuracy of results over methods traditionally used.

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National Science Foundation Selects Trinh for CAREER Award

Cong Trinh, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, has become a nationally recognized researcher for his work on bioengineering processes capable of turning waste products into commercial goods. Trinh’s research, conducted through the NSF’s Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, will benefit what are known as microbial manufacturing platforms. He and his team are developing ways of taking a wide variety of bio- or waste materials ranging from lignocellulosic biomass to carbon dioxide and methane and using biological methods to convert them into products such as industrial chemicals. The team has developed the concept of modular cells with the idea that the eventual microbial manufacturing platforms can be easily interchanged. The team is currently applying this concept to make unique chemical compounds called esters that can be used as flavors, fragrances, green solvents, and biofuels in a sustainable and renewable manner.

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Wu Receives Wheeley Award at UTRF Innovation Awards

Jie Wu, associate professor in the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, received the prestigious Wheeley Award, given annually in recognition of UT faculty members who have shown the ability to “excel in the commercialization of university-based research.”

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Zawodzinski Named Fellow of the American Chemical Society

Tom Zawodzinski, Governor’s Chair for Electrical Energy Conversion and Storage and Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, named fellow of the American Chemical Society’s Polymer Science Division, one of the highest honors in his field.

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Twenty-Eight Faculty Member and Students Recognized at Innovation Awards

Tickle College of Engineering faculty and students received twenty plaques acknowledging new patents and eight certificates honoring licensing agreements with UTRF at Innovation Awards.

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