University of Dayton Researchers Receive Funding From NSF


Over 42,000 proposals are submitted to the National Science Foundation, and only a fourth of that receives funding.

Fortunately, 20 or so researchers from the University of Dayton have received funding and are now working on 14 project worth $4,000,000.

John Leland, the research vice president of the University of Dayton is immensely proud of their researchers’ achievement and said that their scientists’ expertise in STEM disciplines make them appealing to the NSF.

“We have researchers from nine different units involved in our work with the NSF,” Leland said.

Different University of Dayton experts are spearheading different research projects.

Tarek Taha and Keigo Hirakawa, for example, are both in electrical and computer engineering departments, and they are leading over three National Science Foundation projects.

Taha is developing new computer chips that he thinks will be more efficient than the ones we are using now.

The NSF was impressed with his research that they have given him a CAREER award, which is the organization’s most prestigious award for junior faculty who have outstanding research data and output.

Hirakawa, meanwhile, is focused on developing multi-spectral imaging sensors. These sensors analyze light content beyond what people see in the color spectrum.

Together with Professor Andrew Sarangan, Hirakawa wants to see these sensors being used to better food and water safety planning, biological and medical procedures, and geological surveys and imaging.

Their project also aims to improve camera lighting even through a very dark scene. This will prove very helpful for photographers, researchers, and even phone and camera companies.

It’s not just about developing and conceptualizing new devices, though. Other NSF funding recipients are focused on improving teaching and learning.

Margie Pinnell, on one hand, an associate dean for the School of Engineering, wants to help the K-12 teachers of STEM in using more hands-on and project-based activities into their classes.

Pinnell envisions more students studying STEM courses, and in time, graduating to fill the skills gap required in the STEM industry.

Tom Skill and his group, on the other hand, have just finished building a high-performance research network that makes use of state and national high capacity networks to connect to other research institutes.

Their project hopes to make data sharing easier and quicker for researchers and scientists.

What makes their project even better is that, with this network connection, people get remote control and access for instruments at other locations.

Another one, Kim Biglow, the director of the Engineering Wellness Through Biomechanics Lab, is focused on studying how people with disabilities live their lives and independently, and how her study will hopefully help them find better and more improved ways to achieve their goals, despite their abilities.

Other researchers turn their attention to other matters like making solar power more affordable for other people, improving medicine and water accessibility, finding better ways or solutions that are more environment-friendly, or creating devices that make things easier for scientists, researchers, and doctors find cures for illnesses or diseases.

Other scientists are looking into ancient ecosystems to better understand our planet and how we can preserve and save lives.

The NSF grant allows hundreds of students and faculty use their talents and knowledge in finding solutions to problems that continue to plague our everyday lives. With the grants, hopefully many of these studies will bear results that can positively affect human and planetary growth.

Rob Clark admin staff managing editor

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