Faculty & Graduate Student News

Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) doctoral student Derek Doran received a $10,000 stipend (2012-13) for his proposed research aimed at developing a flexible analytic framework for aviation security screening checkpoint performance.  Derek was mentored by Dr. Lance Fiondella, a CSE post-doctoral researcher, in his preparation of the successful proposal, and Dr. Nicholas Lownes (Civil & Environmental Engineering) serves as Derek’s advisor on the aviation security research project.  The award is sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation and administered by the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) of the Transportation Research Board/National Academies. Derek is advised by Dr. Swapna Gokhale of CSE and collaborates with Dr. Nicholas Lownes of Civil & Environmental Engineering on airport security research.

Dr. John Ivan (Civil & Environmental Engineering) was an invited panel speaker at a July workshop entitled “Better Safety Results through Information Sharing,” which was organized by the Transportation Knowledge Network of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies held at the University of California, Irvine.  Dr. Ivan and his fellow panelists discussed the challenge to researchers in obtaining and sharing accurate road safety data and information from and for communities, states and federal agencies.  The workshop produced an action plan for improving access to and awareness of information related to road safety, including updating a thesaurus of search terms to be used in cataloguing transportation safety research reports and articles, creating email listservs for announcements about new reports and articles targeted to specific topics and developing new search engines that focus on specific topics.

Maura Koehle, a Ph.D. candidate in the Chemical Engineering program (Adv.:  Dr. Ashish Mhadeshwar) was awarded a summer internship at the ExxonMobil Process Research Laboratories in Clinton, NJ to conduct research involving catalysis and reaction engineering.  Researchers at the ExxonMobil lab are investigating new technologies for clean-burning gasoline and diesel, ways to render refineries more environmentally friendly, and means to enhance production capabilities.  Maura previously received a travel grant enabling her to attend the 22nd North American Catalysis Society meeting in 2011; a U.S. Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need fellowship (2010-11); and a National Science Foundation GK-12 fellowship (2011-12).  Her doctoral research involves the development of a microkinetic model for the reforming of ethanol, a potential hydrogen source for fuel cell applications.  Read more here.

Dr. George Lykotrafitis (Mechanical Engineering) recently received grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the American Heart Association (AHA). The research objective of the NSF award is to characterize, at the single molecule level, the interactions between erythrocyte adhesion receptors and their corresponding ligands, and to measure the effect of agonist activation signaling on the strength and the frequency of adhesion events. The AHA-funded project proposes to use atomic force microscopy combined with microfluidics and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations to study vasoocclusion in sickle cell disease (SCD). Read more about Dr. Lykotrafitis’ SCD research here.

Dr. Alexander Shvartsman (Computer Science & Engineering) was elected for a three-year term as the Chair of the Steering Committee of the ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC). This conference is the top international forum for researchers involved in all aspects of distributed computing. Together, ACM PODC and EATCS DISC (the Symposium on Distributed Computing) administer the Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing, the most prestigious award in distributed computing.  Dr. Shvartsman also served as the Chair of the Steering Committee of DISC from 2004 to 2007, and his most recent election makes him the only researcher to chair the steering committees of both of these premier conferences.


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