President’s Research Excellence program funds interdisciplinary research led by engineers

Posted: November 10, 2021

Nearly $1.4 million was awarded to seven interdisciplinary Ohio State research teams through the President’s Research Excellence (PRE) program. This most recent round of funding focuses on Catalyst proposals – supporting cross- and interdisciplinary teams to pursue large-scale, high-impact research that addresses emerging or existing challenges of national and international societal importance. The grants of up to $200,000 are intended for research that has the potential to generate long-term, sustained, and significant impact, and positions Ohio State as the leader in the proposed area.

College of Engineering faculty lead three of the projects chosen for funding and are involved as co-investigators in four.

The PRE program supports the university’s goals to help grow its research and innovation enterprise by attracting more externally sponsored research funding, enabling basic and use-inspired research and discoveries, and addressing large, complex societal challenges.

“When we invest in some of our own most promising research as a university, other funders take notice,” said Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska, interim vice president for knowledge enterprise. “Programs like this help further attract partners and funding, accelerating the research so that we can innovate and translate at pace and scale.”

David Dean portrait
Dean

October 2021 Catalyst Grant Projects led by Engineering Faculty

Hybrid Autonomous Point-of-Care Manufacturing

Lead PI: David Dean, Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
Co-investigators: Michael Groeber and Steve Niezgoda, College of Engineering; Stephen Jones, College of Veterinary Medicine; Kelly Kennedy, College of Dentistry; Andrew Glassman, College of Medicine

The project team seeks to establish a center of excellence at Ohio State in the field of Point of Care Manufacturing, demonstrating real-time methods that close the loop between the design and fabrication of personalized medical devices. 

Brain Infrared Modulation of Pathways for Aging, Cognition, and movemenT (Brain IMPACT)

Sanjay Krishna portrait
Krishna

Lead PI: Sanjay Krishna, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering   
Co-investigators: Zeynep Saygin, College of Arts and Sciences; Kingh Luan Phan and Kevin Reeves, College of Medicine

This team’s vision is to develop a non-invasive therapeutic tool that can treat brain disorders including Parkinson’s Disease and major depressive disorder. Researchers will use infrared photobiomodulation to stimulate brain activity and cognitive functions in healthy and aging populations.

Ronald Reano portrait
Reano

Creating quantum bits based on rare-earth ions for quantum networking

Lead PI: Ronald Reano, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Co-investigators: Dan Gauthier, Ezekiel Johnston-Halperin, Roland Kawakami, Gregory Lafyatis and Alexander Sokolov, College of Arts and Sciences 

This comprehensive research effort will create quantum bits based on the integration of erbium into transformative host systems in integrated photonics platforms quantum networking. Quantum bits, or qubits, are quantum mechanical analogs of bits that can exist in more than one state (i.e., 1 and 0) simultaneously.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Raymond Cao and Research Associate Praneeth Kandlakunta are co-investigators on a team led by Chemistry Professor Anne Co investigating radioisotopically-substituted perovskites for self-powered energy storage and photonic applications. Cao is also program director of Ohio State’s Nuclear Engineering Program.

Tijs Van Maasakkers, associate professor of city and regional planning, is a co-investigator on a project led by Moritz College of Law Professor Sarah Cole focused on overcoming attitudinal and situational barriers to collaborative initiatives to advance racial equity.

Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning Kareem Usher is a co-investigator on a team led by Public Health Assistant Professor Mark Weir that aims to generate fundamental and applied data to make drinking water quality equity achievable in the U.S.

The PRE program also offers Accelerator Grants of up to $50,000 to support small teams pursuing curiosity-driven, novel, high-risk and high-reward research. In October, five projects led by College of Engineering faculty – Carlos Castro, Asimina Kiourti, Alan Luo, Boyd Panton and Shaurya Prakash – received Accelerator Awards.. Another request for proposals for Accelerator Grants is planned for Spring 2022.

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