Two top Aggie researchers are featured in a video produced by North Carolina Farm Bureau Magazine. Dr. Ipek Goktepe of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences talks about her research to extend the shelf life of fresh produce, particularly lettuce and spinach, and Dr. Abolghasem Shahbazi of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design discusses his work using agricultural waste to produce biofuel.
The Sponsored Funding Report for June:
N.C. A&T received 23 grants totaling $17.19 million in June.
The complete list of grants received in June.
One highlight was a grant worth $616,956 from the Army Research Office to Dr. Mannur Sundaresan of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Albert Esterline of the Department of Computer Science also will work on the project.
The project: Prognostic Health Management of DoD Assets
The issue: Acoustic emission-based structural health monitoring techniques have great potential for determining the current state of health of critical structures, such as Army vehicles and weapons systems, and predicting their future performance. However, current technology relies mostly on empirical approaches for interpreting AE signals, a technique that has been plagued by ambiguity and false positives.
With a better understanding of the physics of acoustic emission (AE) signal propagation and the development of signal processing techniques, AE-based techniques can play a larger role in developing highly efficient, adaptive, and survivable vehicles, armor, and machinery and the assurance of their safety and integrity.
Abstract: This research will develop numerical models, experiments, algorithms, web architectures, and other tools applicable to prognostic health management. The research will address identification of critical damage states in composite structural elements and strategies for sensing such states with multiple sensors.
Stephanie Luster-Teasley puts her experience in the tenure process together with her research on professional development for women and people of color, and the result is four suggestions about how the process can be made more transparent and beneficial. Her article appears in the Spring issue of the online publication On Campus with Women, published by the American Association of Colleges and Universities.
“I recently completed the tenure process, and like many junior faculty members, I found that tenure was a moving target at the end of an obstacle course marked by uncertainty and politics. Junior faculty know that in order to qualify for tenure, we must balance teaching, service, and research. But we often find it unnerving to gauge how well we have performed in these areas in our colleagues’ eyes. …
“[I]nstitutions and faculty members can work together to make the tenure and promotion process easier to track and gauge, allowing more opportunities for faculty to self-correct their progress. By making tenure more transparent, institutions can not only support the careers of women and people of color, but can also equalize the process for all junior faculty.”
Aebeyo Abraha spends most of the year teaching chemistry at Smith High School in Greensboro. Last summer and again this year, he has been a valued member of the research staff of at N.C. A&T’s Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials.
But that work is on hold for the next two weeks as Abraha travels to India in a program sponsored by the U.S. State Department. The Teachers for Global Classrooms program will send 65 U.S. teachers abroad this summer (300 applied).
Abraha will visit middle schools, high schools and colleges in Mumbai, New Delhi and Pune. Other teachers are going to Brazil, Ghana, Indonesia, Morocco and Ukraine.
Abraha is particularly interested in bringing global awareness to his classroom and in how to relate science and technology to real-life problems. He’s also looking forward to comparing classrooms, lesson plans and other aspects of teaching.
“What are they doing differently?” he asks.
A survey of 240 administrators and faculty from 51 HBCUs with journalism programs reveals a number of challenges as they prepare students for careers in the 21st century news industry.
It’s the first published study to look at how journalism programs at HBCUs are coping with swift changes in the news business as a result of mobile technology and the Internet. The study was conducted by Kim Smith, assistant professor of journalism and mass communication at North Carolina A&T.
The study was published in the June issue of The Electronic Journal of Communication, an online peer-reviewed publication.
Out of the nearly 100 who completed the survey, the most striking result was that nearly all faculty members, chairs and program directors agreed that they must change their journalism education curricula to meet the new demands of 21st century journalism. But they disagreed over who should lead the process. They pointed fingers at each other.
Aggie researchers are popping up on TV screens, at podiums and in laboratories around the world this summer.
Dr. Solomon Bililign of the Department of Physics turned up on EBS-TV, a satellite channel aimed at Ethiopians around the world. The interview was broadcast twice and is now available on YouTube. Brush up on your Amharic; Bililign and interviewer Solomon Mulugeta Kassa may have done the interview in suburban Washington, but they were speaking the language of Ethiopia.
Bililign will be the keynote speaker at the 7th International Conference on African Development at Western Michigan University next month. His topic: “The need for interdisciplinary research and education for sustainable human development to deal with global challenges.” He also was the keynote speaker for the annual meeting of the Society of Ethiopian-American Engineers and Scientists in Washington last month.
Faculty members: Where are you this summer, and what are you working on? Let us know — firstname.lastname@example.org — even if you’re simply working on campus and trying to figure out how to get around the construction outside the IRC.
Posted in Faculty
The Sponsored Funding Report for April and May:
N.C. A&T received 26 grants totaling $2.61 million in April and May.
The complete list of grants received in April and May.
One highlight of the funding was a grant worth $131,000 from the Semiconductor Research Corp. to Dr. Shyam Aravamudhan of the Department of Nanoenigneering at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering. Dr. Aravamudhan is an A&T faculty member.
The project: Cell-based toxicity assay-on-chip for the next-generation CMOS technology
The issue: It is recognized that the unique quantum properties of engineered nanomaterials (ENs) strongly influence their physico-chemical properties, resulting in novel electrical, optical, thermal and magnetic properties not present in their corresponding bulk counterparts. For example, nanostructures’ huge surface area to volume ratio make them not only more reactive and but uniquely applicable for next-generation devices, including for implantable CMOS. This large surface area is just one of the many factors that alter nanostructures’ biological interfaces. Other aspects include their size, shape, surface functionality, charge, composition (organic, inorganic or hybrid), aggregation, solubility. Because of the widely tunable sizes and compositions, ENs can dynamically modify under different biological and environmental conditions, thus limiting options for uniform nano-bio interactions and standardization.
Abstract: The objective of this project is to establish a robust, rapid throughput and high-content screening platform to study biological interactions of ENs implemented on a beyond-CMOS substrate, including their potential toxicities due to their unique physico-chemical properties at the nano-scale. Towards this objective, we propose a multi-faceted exercise beyond the traditional singular-focus efforts involving a multi-disciplinary group of researchers from nanoengineering, nano-biophysics, nanochemistry and toxicology. An over-arching goal is to develop a new approach of scientific integration where nano-ESH is an integral part of EN design rather than a post facto add-on.
Faculty members from North Carolina A&T and Penn State will conduct a two-day workshop for A&T faculty, post-docs, and doctoral students in the sciences and engineering who are interested in integrating the ethical dimensions of coupled natural and human systems into their classes.
The “Ethical Dimensions of Coupled Natural and Human Systems Research” workshop will be held on campus August 13-14. Location and times will be announced soon. Details on the event are here. Funding is provided by the National Science Foundation.
The workshop is designed to improve pedagogical methods and capacity-building strategies. Researchers will learn how to incorporate research ethics content into existing curriculum and will acquire the ability to develop content tailored to their area of expertise.
A&T faculty members sponsoring the workshop are Dr. Keith Schimmel, chairman of the Department of Energy and Environmental Systems (EES); Dr. Luba Kurkalova, Department of Economics and EES; and Dr. Yengeniy Rastigeyev, Department of Mathematics and EES.
Contact Schimmel, email@example.com, 285-2329, by July 15 to register or for more information. You must reserve a spot to attend. There is no charge for the workshop. It is open only to N.C. A&T researchers.
The National Institutes of Health have selected Dr. Justin Zhan to participate in the Early Career Reviewer program of the Center for Scientific Review. Zhan is an associate professor of computer science at N.C. A&T.
The center evaluates NIH research grant applications through peer review groups. The Early Career Reviewer program provides review experience to qualified scientists who haven’t previously had the opportunity to participate. This experience also benefits researchers in developing grant applications for their own research.
The program was launched last year. Background on the program and information on how researchers can apply are available at the program’s website.
Zhan’s research interests include information assurance and cyber security, social computing and social behavior modeling, and biomedical computing. He is the director of the iLab in the Department of Computer Science, which facilitates problem-driven interdisciplinary research on human-natural systems.
He has previously been a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University and the National Center for the Protection of Financial Infrastructure at South Dakota State University. He is editor-in-chief of two scholarly journals, the International Journal of Privacy, Security and Integrity, and the International Journal of Social Computing and Cyber-Physical Systems.
The NIH peer review process is designed to ensure that grant applications are evaluated through a process that is fair, equitable, timely, and free of bias. A two-level peer review system is mandated by federal law. Initial reviews are conducted primarily by non-federal scientists with expertise in relevant scientific disciplines and current research. The second level of review is performed by the national advisory councils or boards of NIH institutes and centers.