Thursday, June 20, 2019
Joel Steele

Inaugurating the Center for Computer Aided Design (CCAD) Research Initiative Seed Program (CRISP), eight faculty in the College of Engineering have been awarded a total of approximately $200K for FY2020. Established early in 2019, CRISP’s primary goal is to empower faculty and staff researchers in developing ideas and promoting efforts to secure external research funding for the University of Iowa. A significant portion of the seed fund awards will be used to support graduates students and postdoctoral researchers in working with faculty to conduct preliminary research and/or preparation activities necessary for and leading to the development and submission of competitive proposals for moderate to large-scale ($500,000 or greater) externally-sponsored research programs.  

This year the CRISP program provides support at two levels: Lux awards with funding up to $25,000 each and Genesis awards of up to $50,000 each, with the Genesis award structured to encourage collaboration with other CCAD, University of Iowa, or third party investigators in pursuit of large-scale programs. Under this first CRISP offering, four proposals received Lux awards and two received Genesis awards, supporting in total eight faculty from the College of Engineering in spearheading competitive efforts for external grants. These proposals span a wide range of topics from renewable energy to satellite arrays in space to new material design and biomedical studies, collectively showcasing the exciting and extraordinarily diverse research activities ongoing at CCAD. 

The proposals funded by CRISP this year are: 

Maintaining Satellite Coverage in Uncertain Operational Environments via Algebraic Topological Approaches, PI: Zhen Kan (ME), Award Amount $25,000 (Lux). The objective of this project is to provide a basic mathematical framework and solution techniques to enhance tactical satellite network operations. In particular, the project will focus on advancing Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities of satellite networks by identifying and overcoming shortcomings in sensor coverage.

Novel Materials and Systems for Sustainable Production of Liquid Fuels, PI: Syed Mubeen (CBE), Award Amount: $25,000 (Lux). This project represents an ambitious, high-risk high-reward effort in using renewable energy to efficiently and cost-effectively produce liquid fuels as a carbon-neutral alternative to petroleum. The project will focus on the development of novel light-mediated catalytic systems for producing liquid fuels using supercritical CO2 (the physical state of CO2 for carbon sequestration) and water.

Nature-Inspired Additive Manufacturing of Highly Tailorable Electroceramics for Sensing and Optical Applications, PI: Xuan Song (ISE), Award Amount: $25,000. Electroceramics materials possess unique electrical, optical and magnetic properties with broad applications in sensing, actuation, energy production, and optics. This project will develop a nature-inspired Additive Manufacturing (AM) process to achieve fully dense electroceramics with programmable functionality.

Neural-Network-Enhanced Multiscale Modeling of Composites, PI: Shaoping Xiao (ME), Award Amount: $20,000. This project will develop a neural-network-enhanced multi-scale modeling and simulation method supporting the design of next-generation composite materials with advanced mechanical and thermal properties.

Dynamically Tunable Metamaterial for Terahertz Spectroscopy, PIs: Hongtao Ding (ME) and Fatima Toor (ECE), Award Amount: $50,000 (Genesis). This research project will develop a new terahertz (THz) metamaterial with frequency-domain modulating functionality for THz spectroscopy, resulting in a new technical approach for dynamically tuning bandpass filter characteristics in real-time spectroscopic measurement applications.

Establishing a Porcine Burn Model for Developing Innovative Strategies for Improving Burn Care, PIs: Edward Sander (BME) and James Ankrum (BME), Award Amount: $50,000 (Genesis). This project will leverage diverse University of Iowa resources to establish a porcine burn model as a basis further research endeavors in improving wound healing from traumatic injuries and burns.

The CRISP program represents the commitment CCAD has in its faculty and staff researchers and is an acknowledgement of the real talent, expertise, and potential of their contributions to the continuing success of the CCAD research enterprise.