Author: UConn Biomedical Engineer Creates “Smart” Bandages to Heal Chronic Wounds

A UConn researcher has helped develop a new “smart bandage” that could improve clinical care. (courtesy of Dr. Ali Tamayol)


By: Courtney Chandler – School of Dental Medicine

Chronic and non-healing wounds—one of the most devastating complications of diabetes and the leading cause of limb amputation—affects millions of Americans each year. Due to the complex nature of these wounds, proper clinical treatment has been limited.

For the first time, faculty in the biomedical engineering department—a shared department with the UConn School of Dental Medicine, School of Medicine, and School of Engineering— designed a wirelessly-controlled, or “smart,” bandage and corresponding smartphone-sized platform that can precisely deliver different medications to the wound with independent dosing.

This bandage, developed by Dr. Ali Tamayol, associate professor, and researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Harvard Medical School, is equipped with miniature needles that can be controlled wirelessly—allowing the drugs to be programmed by care providers without even visiting the patient.

“This is an important step in engineering advanced bandages that can facilitate the healing of hard to treat wounds. The bandage does not need to be changed continuously,” says Tamayol.

To read the full article on UConn Today, click here.

Author: Patented Smart Bearings for Bridge Safety

(Image by Pexels from Pixabay)


By: Anna Zarra Aldrich ’20 (CLAS), Office of the Vice President for Research

Bridges are a key part of any modern transportation network, but it can be difficult to monitor the safety and upkeep needs of these structures without precise data.

University of Connecticut associate professor of civil and environmental engineering Arash Zaghi has recently been issued a patent for a bridge bearing assembly with sensors that can be used to assess the structural “health” of bridges. These “smart” bearings enable bridges to accommodate movement due changes in load from traffic and temperature variations, for example.

According to a report on bridges by the American Road & Transportation Builder’s Association, 7.6% of America’s bridges are “structurally deficient” and in need of urgent repairs. Another 38% of all bridges in the United States have repair needs. Identifying these needs precisely and early can help prevent catastrophic collapses and more extensive repairs later.

Currently, bridges are monitored mainly through visual inspections. This process is time-consuming, expensive and less reliable than monitoring bridges with high-tech sensors. Zaghi’s invention addresses this need by providing consistent, easily accessible data that reveals the state of a bridge’s structural integrity over time.

To read the full article on UConn Today, click here.

Author: UConn President, Nine Faculty Inducted Into Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering

Ten UConn faculty members have been inducted into the prestigious Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)


By: Eli Freund, Editorial Communications Manager, UConn School of Engineering 

Ten University of Connecticut faculty were announced as inductees into the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering for 2020, including UConn President Thomas C. Katsouleas.

CASE, which was chartered by the Connecticut General Assembly in 1976, provides expert guidance to the state of Connecticut and promotes the application of science and technology towards issues of economic well-being and human welfare, according to its website.

This year, CASE elected 36 new fellows, drawn from both industry and academia. Election to the Academy is based on the applicant’s scientific and engineering distinction, achieved through significant contributions in the form of publications, patents, outstanding leadership, and other factors.

This year, the inductees from UConn were:

  • Jinbo Bi, Computer Science & Engineering, School of Engineering
  • Georgios M. Bollas, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, School of Engineering
  • Daniel D. Burkey, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education, Outreach, and Diversity, School of Engineering
  • Yang Cao, Electrical & Computer Engineering and Institute of Materials Science, School of Engineering
  • Heidi M. Dierssen, Marine Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Thomas C. Katsouleas, President and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering, and Professor of Physics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Ramesh B. Malla, Civil & Environmental Engineering and Institute of Materials Science, School of Engineering
  • Rachel J. O’Neill, Institute for Systems Genomics, Molecular & Cellular Biology, Genetics and Genome Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Ugur Pasaogullari, Center for Clean Energy Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering
  • Linda H. Shapiro, Professor, Cell Biology, UConn Health

New inductees are scheduled to be honored at the Academy’s 45th Annual Meeting and Dinner on May 26, taking place on the Storrs campus. For more information on CASE, please click here.

Author: Tissue Engineering Lab Provides BME Students with Invaluable Experience

BME students are provided with hands-on experience in tissue engineering. (Uconn Photo/Christopher LaRosa)


By: Gabriella Cipriano, Student Written Communication Specialist, UConn School of Engineering

Over the past two decades, tissue engineering has emerged as an exciting new area in biomedical engineering. For all BME undergraduate concentrations at UConn, there were corresponding lab components to provide hands-on experience to supplement the classroom instruction, except for tissue engineering. Syam Nukavarapu, associate professor of biomedical engineering — who is also a joint faculty member of Materials Science & Engineering and UConn Health — was recently tasked with developing a tissue engineering laboratory, which has started running this semester.

Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary area where biology, engineering, and medicine come together. It aims to develop tissue substitutes and body parts utilizing engineering principles and building blocks such as biomaterials, cells, and bioactive molecules.

Nukavarapu is an experienced biomaterials and tissue engineering scientist and established his Tissue Engineering Science and Technology Laboratory (TEST Lab) at UConn using an initial set of new experiments he developed to provide students the basics and practice of tissue engineering.

“The course is organized into seven modules with each module scheduled for two weeks. At the end of this lab, the students are expected to learn basic tissue engineering lab techniques related to the development and evaluation of tissue engineering products,” Nukavarapu said.

Senior biomedical engineering student Maisha Azam is interested in tissue engineering because she likes the idea of organ regeneration, considering it prevents the need for an organ donor. Since organ donations require long waits, and can be rejected by the body, developing synthetic organs/body parts eliminates these issues, “which would take out a lot of stress, money, and a lot of issues the families have,” according to Azam.

The new undergraduate tissue engineering lab provides BME juniors and seniors with hands-on experience that is beneficial when applying for jobs or graduate school. 

According to David Kaputa, assistant professor-in-residence and director of undergraduate programs for the BME Department, “The skills learned in this course will be used in their future careers, whether it’s in industry or academia.”

“This directly contributes to the biomedical workforce development, because BME students in this particular track are interested in starting careers in the field of tissue engineering,” explained by Nukavarapu. The lab is currently offered to only 12 students (one session) with the goal of providing effective hands on learning experience to each student in the course. However, this could be opened to other interested students in the future by doing multiple lab sessions.

It seems like the lab has been a success so far, especially for Azam. “This is the first time I felt excited to be in the lab working with my hands, working with actual cells, seeing actual results that I created.”

Author: UConn T2 Center Provides a Training Hub For All 169 Towns and Cities


Donna Shea (back, right) shakes hands with a 2018 program graduate. (Photo courtesy of T2 Center)


By: Gabriella Cipriano, Student Written Communication Specialist, UConn School of Engineering

Just down the road from the main Storrs campus resides the CT Training and Technical Assistance Center (T2 Center), an invaluable resource providing transportation-related training for all 169 towns and cities across the state.

At the helm of the center is Donna Shea, who is both the executive director of the T2 Center, as well as the current president of the network of all 51 centers throughout the country.

“I really think this is exactly where I’m supposed to be… never in a million years did I think I’d be doing this.”

 Though the only job she wanted growing up was to be a corporate pilot, Shea went to the Neag School of Education for graduate school, where she obtained an educational leadership degree with adult learning as her specialty area. She explained how “developing adult learning programs is the expertise that I bring to the table, which is different than some, because some directors in our centers are engineers.” This diversity of backgrounds allows for a variety of ideas to be brought to the table.

Shea started working at the T2 Center 21 years ago, when it had only two educational programs, and — with her Director for Training, Mary McCarthy — has built it to eight well-rounded “comprehensive professional development programs that target different aspects of the public works community.” These include the Public Works Academy, Road Master, Road Scholar, Transportation Leadership Program, Local Traffic Authority program, Safety Academy, and Traffic Signal Academy. Some of the workshops and trainings involved in these programs include Sustainable Winter Operations, Solving Local Traffic Problems, Workload Management, and the Basics of a Good Road. After completing a certain amount of hours or classes, participants receive a certificate of completion and become a CT Road Master, Road Scholar, etc.

Completing these educational programs provides so many benefits to participants. The T2 Center provides them with information on the latest technologies, innovations, and practices that they can immediately apply to their day-to-day operations. They are also given professional communication skills to use when speaking with residents and peers. Most importantly, agencies look to these designations as differentiators when choosing managers and leaders.

The T2 Center contributes not only educational services, but also a network of knowledge that can be shared between each town and city in Connecticut. The center facilitates round-table discussions, which involve program participants coming together to discuss different issues and solutions, and taking it back to their municipalities to apply it to their unique problems. 

Shea explained that they have built strong communication channels that reach all of the CT local agencies with timely information. 

“We have really great newsletters and technical briefings, we have tons of technical resources… and our safety and our traffic-signal staff members actually go out to the towns and offer free technical assistance.”

Shea says that municipal employees aren’t the only people making a difference in their communities, resulting from programs offered at the center. Teaming up with local school children, the T2 Center team holds an annual Roadway Safety Poster Contest For Children.

“They come up with these great taglines, about texting and driving or driving in the workzone, and we have a competition,” Shea said.

A judging group picks winners from each age category, and these winners get to visit the Department of Transportation (DOT) to get their prizes, see their posters on display as a part of the Work Zone Safety Press Conference, and meet law enforcement, highway crews and the Lt. Governor and DOT Commissioner. 

With everything going on at the Center, and the growth of the programming over the past 21 years, Shea is still humbled at the role she gets to play on a daily basis at UConn.

“I’m just honored to be in this position, as a part of this passionate team,  to be able to make that difference [in all 169 municipalities] with a group I really care about.”


Author: My Husky Valentine: Met at UConn

Claudia ’61 (Education) and Gerry Reynolds ’59 (Mechanical Engineering)

Claudia and Gerry celebrating Claudia’s 80th birthday.


“I started to date Claudia in the summer of 1956. I met her when she was a waitress at an ice cream shop where all my guy friends would stop for large scoops of ice cream before heading out for the beach area.

She entered UConn that Fall looking to obtain an education as a teacher. At that time, UConn did not have a formal teacher education program, so she matriculated into the Child Development Program.

With her living in South Campus, first as an independent and then in a sorority ADPi, and myself (4) years in the North Campus “Jungle” provided a challenge to getting together socially. 

Both of us having limited resources (i.e. no car & no money and limited time because mostly because of Gerry trying to keep up with his Enginneering courses), our time together consisted mainly walking to Hawley Armory which we considered a halfway point and then going to the Student Union. It was always interesting walking in the winter cold and the UConn wind always in our face or at our back. The other aspect of a social life at UConn at that time was the restricted rules of dormitory living with no mixing of sexes in the dormitory and having to have Claudia back to her dorm by a certain time or she would be locked out and would have to get special permission to get back in or secretly have a friend let her in. After I graduated in 1959, we carried on a long distance relationship while Claudia was still at UConn. We decided to get married after her graduation. Anyway we both survived the circumstances and used our education to enter the working world  and use our individual educational backgrounds. With both of us being the first of our families to attend college, and our lives connected because we were both at UConn at the same time, we have a very special feeling towards UConn and the Schools of Engineering and  Education that would eventually provide the  wherewithal for our children and grandchildren to also attend college and have successful educational and career endeavors.”


Mary-Lisa ’84 (CBE) and Frank Bergonzi ’83 (CBE)

Frank and Mary-Lisa Bergonzi.


“I met my future wife in the dorms of West campus, in the summer of 1982. I was taking the six credit ChemE lab and Mary-Lisa was taking a FORTRAN computer science course.  I saw her during check-in in the dorm, as I was sitting with my father watching a Celtics playoff game.  I saw her and immediately turned to my father and said “I am going to marry her, Pops”.  

I don’t know what it was, but it was love at first sight for me. (I don’t think it was for Mary-Lisa). 

I helped her with her stereo up to her dorm room and made small talk as nervous as can be.  I then got the nerve to ask her for some engineering paper the following day as she was sunbathing in the quad.  I recall this as if it was yesterday. 

I then didn’t see her again for a few days/week as the chemE lab was really demanding. I saw her at the dorm dance, asked her to dance and I have been with her literally ever since.   We have been married for 31 years and have three beautiful adult children. 

If it wasn’t for the UConn School of Engineering, I literally would not have met the love of my life.” 


Luz Perez-Hotaling ’02 (Biomedical Engineering) and Rob Hotaling ’01 (Electrical Engineering)


Rob and Luz then.

Rob and Luz now.


“We first met at UConn in 1997 when Rob was a sophomore and I was a freshman. Rob was very social and would spend a lot of his time in Northwest which is just a dormitory now, but at the time was considered the “engineering” dorm.  My sister lived in Northwest as well and knew Rob before I did.  She was a year ahead of me and had a class with him their freshman year, so she was aware of who he was, along with a few other friends he would interact with.  I was roommates with my sister and was eventually introduced to Rob by a mutual friend who lived on my floor.

Ironically, Rob and I started UConn as non-engineering students but were still drawn to each other by the laws of the universe.  Rob was automatically enrolled into the school of liberal arts when he applied without applying to a specific school, and had to work hard to maintain a high GPA and eventually get approved into the School of Engineering.  My experience was slightly different. I applied to UConn as an undecided major and although I completed an Engineering Diversity Program the summer of my freshman year, I wasn’t automatically enrolled into the School of Engineering. Like Rob, I had to work hard to obtain a high enough GPA to get admitted into the school.  It was one of the things we had in common when we first met that eventually turned our friendship into something more.

Over the course of our UConn careers, Rob and I both switched majors within engineering.  Rob began his engineering studies in computer science, which he excelled at, it always came easy to him.  He helped me through many CSE projects and all-nighters because it doesn’t come that easy to all of us!  He eventually switched and obtained a BS in electrical engineering. I began my studies in electrical engineering and made the switch to biomedical engineering after finding the course work more aligned with my interests. Rob and I were able to take courses together and push each other along the way which looking back, made our years together at UConn that more special.

We got engaged in the spring of 2001 after four years of dating. Rob was wrapping up his last semester and I had another year to go.  We knew we didn’t want to wait long after my graduation since we lived in different states.  Rob was living in RI at the time, but found employment in CT after graduating.  We got married in June of 2002, almost exactly a month after my graduation.  Seven years later we had our first child and are now blessed with a beautiful family of four children.  Rob always found himself back in the software world and is currently a vice president at his company.  He has stayed very connected with the UConn community and was the driving force behind the installation of Verbi’s gunshot detection system in the university.  After graduation I worked in the biomedical field short term and then made a switch to healthcare and obtained a medical assisting degree.  I worked at a hospital for several years and have been home full-time with my children since the birth of our first child.  Being out of the work force has had its challenges but it has been a blessing being able to spend this time with them.  People get different experiences and memories from their college years and for us those UConn years will be extra special because we were blessed to meet each other.”


Patty Turner ’81 (HDFS) and Tom Jensen ’79 (Civil Engineering)


Tom and Patty then.

Tom and Patty with their family at the UConn homecoming game.


“You want a sip of my Coke?” That’s how it all started, over 40 years ago during the Fall semester of 1977 at UConn, in room 204 of Crandall D in South Campus (the OLD South Campus!). That’s when they first met each other. Patty Turner and her roommate came over from Crawford D to meet some of the guys in Crandall. She strolled into room 204 and introduced herself to the geeky engineering guy studying at his desk. It was love at first sight! Eventually she asked him out to the South Campus semi-formal—their first official date! Patty (1981 BS CLAS) and Tom (1979 BS Civil Engineering) got married in 1985, bought their first house in Guilford CT, had their first child Annie in 1991 (2013 BS in Accounting with honors), followed in 1994 by twin boys Sam and Ted (2016 BS Computer Science and Engineering with honors) and have lived in Guilford, CT ever since. The Turner/Jensen family bleeds blue and are huge fans and supporters of UConn athletics (especially the basketball, soccer and field hockey teams) and the School of Engineering. Go Huskies!”


Heidi ’77 (Biological Sciences) and Joel Douglas ’77 (Civil Engineering) 


Joel and Heidi then.

Joel and Heidi now.


“It was the fall of ’74 when Joel Douglas first noticed Heidi Seifert in Putnam Refectory. She wasn’t hard to miss carrying a seven-foot javelin to dinner after track and field practice. It took a bit of encouragement from his Ellsworth floor mates – and some grain alcohol punch at the welcome back from winter break party – for Joel to work up the courage to invite Heidi on their first date. They quickly learned that they had a lot in common. Both were serious students with strong family ties, work ethic, and shared interests. At spring break, he brought Heidi to Woodstock to meet his Italian nonna, the family matriarch and arbiter. In August, Joel, or Heidi (there’s a debate), popped the question.

Forty-three years, 45 from when they met, they’re living the proverbial dream. Southwest Florida residents who summer in Vermont, Heidi is retired. Joel is happily ensconced in his carefully planned encore career as a successful patent agent and forensics engineer. They travel a lot, play golf, and cruise the back bays on their appropriately named tritoon Last Call. A lifetime of friendship and love that started in a little place named Storrs.”


Have a UConn love story? Click here to submit it! 

Author: Senior Design Journey 2020: Taking Farming to the Next Level, Part 1

From left to right: Justin Gallo, Kylie Kearney, and Andrew Alaba pick through beans at the bottom of their thresher they are designing for their senior design project. (Eli Freund/UConn Photo)


By: Gabriella Cipriano, Student Written Communication Specialist, UConn School of Engineering

Most of the equipment sold by commercial farm-supply companies are too big and expensive for small farms, leaving them in the lurch when it comes to employing time-saving technology. But, a farmer’s biggest commodity is time, so it is up to these smaller farmers to create their own equipment suitable for their individual needs that can increase efficiency.

Three University of Connecticut mechanical engineering majors — Kylie Kearney, Justin Gallo, and Andrew Alaba — are working to build a small and efficient bean thresher that will increase the productivity and sellable product for local small farmer, Susan Mitchell, and her farm, Cloverleigh Farm.

At a size of only 2 acres, Cloverleigh Farm is located right here in Mansfield, catering to residents, local restaurants, and even UConn dining services. The farm uses “sustainable production methods that are good for the earth… [and is] certified organic by Baystate Organic Certifiers,” according to the website. “We are the only certified organic farm in the town of Mansfield.”

 A bean thresher, a mainstay for farmers with bean crops, are extremely helpful when it comes to harvesting. According to Kearney, the device “breaks the [bean] pods off the plant, and then the beans out of the pod so that the farmer doesn’t have to manually break open the pods to get the product.”

Currently, Mitchell separates her beans by putting them in a bag and whacking them against the ground. Not only is this method extremely labor-intensive, but it also takes too much of her time that can be used towards harvesting carrots. According to Kearney, “If she were to buy a commercial bean thresher, it would cost “around $100,000 to $300,000… which would be her revenue for multiple seasons.”

Since there is not a lot of research done on dried beans, starting this project required the team to work backwards. They spent about a month conducting physical experimental tests as well as simulations. Gallo explained that they did “experimental drop tests as well as a pendulum test to find the impact breaking strength required to break open both the beans and the pods.”

Though they didn’t  know each other prior to being paired for this project, they soon realized that they each specialized in different skills. Gallo knew a lot about the simulation software ANSYS, and used it to validate their experimental results and visualize the model of their bean. Alaba has a lot of SolidWorks knowledge, and also a lot of experience using equipment in the Machine Shop, so over winter break, he cut the wood for the thresher’s main structure.

As the design for this bean thresher has developed, the team came up with the idea of “a less dynamic conveyor belt, having a low friction plastic that [the beans] could slide down, with a ramp,” according to Kearney. Gallo explained how they chose an “ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene plastic… because it has a very high abrasion resistance, so it’s going to be really durable.”

They are now looking for a motor with an adjustable speed dial, and plan to connect it to a dimmer switch (similar to a switch used to dim/brighten lights in a room) to adjust the voltage. Considering Mitchell wanted something stationary, the thresher can be kept in her old dairy barn and the motor will run on electricity.

Looking at the actual journey the group has been on, with such a large and complex project, each member expressed some twists and turns as they’ve gone through the year. One obstacle mentioned was the experience of having a lot of back-and-forth on ideas, and the uncomfortability in the beginning of not asserting themselves. To help with this, the team utilized pew charts to determine the best ideas, ranking each based on positives and negatives, and choosing the highest-ranked options. This process allowed them to get comfortable with each other, and feel more confident in making the best decisions for the project.

The team is proud to say that they are ahead of schedule, despite encountering some issues throughout the year. After reconstructing the initial design four times and receiving warped and splintered plywood, they are finally seeing successes. A huge accomplishment of theirs was impressing their sponsor, and gaining her support.

“She’s so proud of us,” Kearney said. “It’s become a lot more to us because now we want to succeed for our sponsor.”

This article is part of a multi-part series on engineering students and their journey through senior design. Part two of this team’s journey will come out in April 2020.

Author: Buzzing Through the Blood-Brain Barrier

Professor Thanh Nguyen, center, with graduate students Thinh Le (left) and Eli Curry (right), show a sample of the material they’ve developed that could make it easier to treat diseases of the brain. (Photo contributed by Thanh Nguyen)


By: Kim Krieger, UConn Communications

UConn engineers have designed a non-toxic, biodegradable device that can help medication move from blood vessels into brain tissues —a route traditionally blocked by the body’s defense mechanisms. They describe their invention in the December 23 issue of PNAS.

Blood vessels in the brain are lined by cells fitted together tightly, forming a so-called blood-brain barrier,  which walls off bacteria and toxins from the brain itself. But that blood-brain barrier also blocks medication for brain diseases such as cancer.

“A safe and effective way to open that barrier is ultrasound,” says Thanh Nguyen, a biomedical engineer at UConn. Ultrasonic waves, focused in the right place, can vibrate the cells lining blood vessels enough to open transient cracks in the blood-brain barrier large enough for medication to slip through. But the current ultrasound technology to do this requires multiple ultrasound sources arrayed around a person’s skull, and then using an MRI machine to guide the person operating the ultrasounds to focus the waves in just the right place. It’s bulky, difficult, and expensive to do every time a person needs a dose of medication.

There is another way: implanted devices can apply ultrasound locally in the brain. It’s much more precise and repeatable, but most ultrasound transducers contain toxic materials such as lead. And they have to be removed after use, which requires surgery and can harm brain tissue.

Click here to read more on UConn Today

Author: Synchrony Digital Technology Center Dedicated; Gift to Connecticut Commitment Announced


President Thomas Katsouleas, left, views a demonstration of user interface design by David Tram ’21 (ENG), Charles Ira ’21 (ENG) and Jason Chau ’21 (ENG) at the Synchony Digital Technology Center at the UConn Stamford campus on Dec. 16, 2019. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)


By: Mike Enright ’88 (CLAS), University Communications

The University of Connecticut and Synchrony celebrated the opening of the The Synchrony Digital Technology Center at UConn Stamford in a ceremony on Monday.

The ceremony also included an announcement by Synchrony of a $1 million donation to the “Connecticut Commitment” – the new UConn initiative that allows lower-income students from the state of Connecticut to attend the University tuition-free.

Synchrony is a premier consumer financial services company delivering customized financing programs across key industries including retail, health, auto, travel and home, along with award-winning consumer banking products. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., and has 1,000 employee based in the city. It has over 80.3 million active customer accounts and counts Amazon and Pay Pal among its clients.

“Synchrony’s leading gift to support the Connecticut Commitment program is a generous investment in our students and our state’s future, helping talented low-income students who might have otherwise believed that UConn was out of reach for them.  It will no doubt be inspiring for these future students, but also for other generous supporters to follow their lead. ” said UConn President Thomas C. Katsouleas. “And the Digital Technology Center is another way that Synchrony has become such a valuable partner.  Synchrony and the new Center are  supporting our students not only financially but with time and expertise, connecting students’ classroom knowledge to real world needs.”

To read the full article on UConn Today, click here.

Author: Engineering a New Learning Environment For Neurodiversity

Researchers in the School of Engineering are working on a five-year project to improve the learning environment for students on the neuordiversity spectrum. (Getty Images)


By: Eli Freund, Editorial Communications Manager, UConn School of Engineering

When it comes to educating the most diverse student pool possible, University of Connecticut Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Head Maria Chrysochoou thinks the system might be broken.

Not broken in a sense that engineering students are going into the workforce unprepared, but broken in a way that doesn’t allow for a myriad of learning styles—especially ones aimed at a neurodiverse population.

Armed with a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s RED (Revolutionizing Engineering Departments) program, Chrysochoou, and her collaborators—CEE Professor Amvrossios Bagtzoglou and CEE Associate Professors Arash Zaghi, Nicholas Lownes, Tim Vadas, NEAG Associate Professor Rachael Gabriel, and CETL Director Peter Diplock —are on a mission to transform their department into a safe and inclusive environment for students with cognitive differences that fall onto the neurodiversity spectrum, for example, students with autism, ADHD, anxiety, or dyslexia.

The biggest reason for their push is that the success metrics for neurodiverse students are bleak, especially in the STEM fields. A review of the literature done by Chrysochoou and her group revealed that only 3% of college students with ADHD study engineering, and while 34% of college students on the autism spectrum were enrolled in a STEM-related field, only 5% were enrolled in engineering programs.

To learn more, click here to read the full article on UConn Today.