Innovative minds earn NSF CAREER awards

Posted: May 13, 2022
Shamsul Arafin; David Delaine; Ayonga Hereid; Asimina Kiourti; Parinaz Naghizadeh; Devina Walter; Ping Zhang.
Top row, from left: Shamsul Arafin, David Delaine, Ayonga Hereid, Asimina Kiourti. Bottom row, from left: Parinaz Naghizadeh, Devina Purmessur (Walter), Ping Zhang.

Seven College of Engineering faculty members at The Ohio State University have earned the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award this fiscal year—the National Science Foundation’s top honor given to support the work of the nation’s most promising junior faculty. Their awards total $3.9 million.

Each of the following faculty have received a five-year grant to support their wide-ranging research and related outreach and education efforts: Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor Shamsul Arafin; Engineering Education Assistant Professor David Delaine; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Assistant Professor Ayonga Hereid; Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor Asimina Kiourti; Integrated Systems Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor Parinaz Naghizadeh; Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor Devina Purmessur (Walter); and Computer Science and Engineering and Biomedical Informatics Assistant Professor Ping Zhang.

“It is a joy to see these faculty receive this much-deserved recognition and to host their promising research in the College of Engineering,” said Andre Palmer, associate dean for research. “Their work through these CAREER awards will lead to crucial discoveries that will impact and improve the world around us. We are thrilled for them and for our engineering students that will benefit immensely from these hands-on learning opportunities.”  

Arafin was awarded $500,000 for his research to advance bio-sensing applications. His goal is to create the first non-telecom photonic integrated circuits (PICs) platform based on the antimonide (antimony and gallium) material system dedicated to advance biomedical sensing applications.

Delaine received $597,223 for his project to help improve the education of future engineers by preparing them to address societal changes in meaningful ways. By focusing on service-learning, this project will help students learn to be socially responsible engineering professionals while positively impacting local communities.

Hereid was awarded $600,000 for his research to advance the motion control technology of humanoid robots and lower-limb exoskeletons. Successful completion of his project can accelerate real-world applications of bipedal walking machines in industry. Potential applications include curbside delivery, warehouse automation, search and rescue, and even space and planetary exploration.

Kiourti earned $527,695 for her research on wearable sensors that operate in complex and dynamic environments and can be seamlessly embedded in fabrics. The goal of her project is to understand the challenges of operating textile sensors in real-world settings and empower their reliable operation via closed-loop interaction among fabrics, electronics and humans.

Naghizadeh received $550,000 for her project, which will leverage tools from optimization, game theory, machine learning, and graph theory towards building an analytical framework for the study of multilayer networks. Her findings will enhance the ability to design and evaluate economic and regulatory interventions, and prevent unwanted equilibria or learning outcomes, in complex network environments.

Purmessur (Walter) was awarded $568,096 for her research on novel methods of mechanically regulated cellular communication in the spinal column. Future applications of her work could help identify better treatment for chronic joint diseases such as back pain.

Zhang earned $556,828 for his research related to improving artificial intelligence (AI) for health care. His project will integrate deep learning algorithms and causal inference techniques to advance precision medicine. His work is an improvement over existing methods, which often focus on making predictions on observational data, rather than providing actionable suggestions to physicians.

CAREER awardees exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellence in education and the integration of both within the context of the mission of their organizations.

by Meggie Biss, College of Engineering Communications |