After carefully reviewing 14 submissions for $25,000 Track 1: Pilot Grant Program, the Office of Research selected four fledgling teams for the awards. Together, they amount to $100,000 in investments in projects that align with UC’s Next Lives Here
Specifically, the projects that were selected for funding address critical elements in the Urban Impact platform, with a focus on investments in research that has broad societal implications, scalability and a strong chance for additional funding, says Jennifer H. Krivickas, assistant vice president for integrated research.
“These teams include researchers from five distinct colleges and many more disciplines, making them ideal for productive collaborations,” Krivickas says. “The Track 1: Pilot Grant program will allow these accomplished experts to share knowledge and do important work together. I am looking forward to what they can accomplish together.”
“At the Office of Research, we look for strategic opportunities to invest in teams of researchers who think and work across disciplinary divides,” says Patrick Limbach, PhD, Ohio Eminent Scholar and Vice President for Research at the University of Cincinnati. “These pilot awards will allow our faculty to focus on critical issues affecting the world today. They exemplify how we as an urban research university can have a sustainable, positive impact on and for society.”
Funded TRACK 1: Pilot Grants:
The Project: Paving the way for safe, sustainable automation on the road
Four researchers at the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) bring together distinctive, but connected, fields of research to develop advanced, effective, safe solutions for “smart & connected communities.”
The CEAS Team:
- Jiaqi Ma, PhD, directs the Next Mobility Lab at the University of Cincinnati, where he focuses on innovation and developing intelligent vehicle and transportation systems, including connected and automated vehicles.
- Heng Wei, PhD, PE, directs the Advanced Research on Transportation Engineering Systems (ART-EngineS) Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati, where the integrated research and education activities are organized and conducted with focus on smart transportation infrastructural engineering and systems in applications of innovative and emerging technologies.
- Ou Ma, PhD, the Alan B. Shepard Chair in the CEAS Department of Aerospace Engineering & Engineering Mechanics, researches robotic systems and automation, as well as autonomous and intelligent systems.
- Xuefu Zhou, PhD, directs the Wireless and Mobile Communication Lab (WMCL) in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Cincinnati. His research and teaching interest are in general areas of wireless and mobile communications, vehicular communication systems, digital signal/video processing, deep learning and its application in smart and connected health (SCH).
The Project: High-tech tools explore the workings of criminal minds
Three researchers from College of Education, Criminal Justice, Human Services and Information Technology (CECH) bring their disciplinary expertise to bear as they explore why criminals decide to break the law.
The CECH Team:
- J.C. Barnes, PhD, a criminal justice associate professor, researches the impacts of genetics and the environment on crime as well as what influences decisions that criminals make in terms of picking targets.
- Cory P Haberman, PhD, a criminal justice assistant professor, studies why crime happens when and where it does as well as the impact of different policing strategies on the public’s level of fear, safety and disorder.
- Guo Freeman, PhD, who teaches in the School of Information Technology, brings her expertise in the use and impact of gaming technologies to the project. She has published extensively about how digital gaming reshapes human relationships.
The Project: Designing a smart, secure local data grid
While the University of Cincinnati is a well-established leader in cyber-security research and expertise, this project supplements ongoing efforts across the university to build a smart, secure, connected and just city for the future.
The Integrated Team:
- Jess Kropcynski, PhD, a new member of the UC faculty, is an assistant professor in the School of Information Technology in UC’s CECH, has a history of working with local and state governments in her work to design and evaluate civic technology that connects audiences as it promotes informed decision-making.
- Richard Harknett, PhD, professor and Head of political science in the College of Arts & Sciences and one of the world’s leading cyber-security experts, is currently an advisor to US CYBERCOM & NSA and co-PI on the Ohio Cyber Range Project.
- Raj Bhatnagar, PhD, professor of computer science in CEAS, runs the college’s Machine Intelligence Laboratory. His wide-ranging research focuses primarily on data mining and pattern recognition problems.
- Jennifer Malat, PhD, is a sociology professor, the associate dean for social sciences and the director of The Cincinnati Project in the College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on how race affects health and healthcare experiences.
- Brett Harnett is the director of the Center for Health Informatics in UC’s College of Medicine. His research includes telehealth, governmental issues and collaborations with industry.
- Eric Rademacher, PhD, co-directs the Institute for Policy Research and The Ohio Poll. He also directs the University of Cincinnati/United Way of Greater Cincinnati Community Research Collaborative. His research expertise includes public policy, policy analysis, demography and survey methodology.
The Project: Fine-tuning radiation doses through non-invasive imaging
This project extends ongoing research to develop safer and more effective radiation therapy by creating an imaging system that allows for non-invasive, organ-specific doses of radiation with enhanced quality assurance, accuracy and automatic feedback and control.
The Integrated Team:
- T. Douglas Mast, PhD, a professor in the department of biological engineering in CEAS, leads the UC Biomedical Acoustics Laboratory. His research applies biomedical ultrasound to cancer treatments and other minimally invasive therapeutic applications.
- Michael A.S. Lamba, PhD, is a medical physicist and associate professor in the department of radiation oncology at UC’s College of Medicine.
- Charles Dumoulin, PhD, is the director of the Imaging Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and a professor of pediatrics. He has more than 100 patents focused on MRI and other magnetic resonance technologies.