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Recognizing Excellence in Research

Out of 14 total awards granted for the natural sciences and engineering category of the 2017 Provost’s Research Awards (PRA), three College of Engineering faculty members are recipients. The PRA provide salary and direct research costs to assist individual faculty and research teams in developing research programs and scholarly and creative activities.

The Provost’s Research Awards are designed to foster excellence in research and creative activity and increase the overall research portfolio at the University of Miami. Applicants are reviewed by faculty subcommittees of the Research Council representing the arts, business, humanities, natural science, engineering and social sciences. Funding is awarded in five categories based on discipline: the Max Orovitz Research Awards in the Arts, the Max Orovitz Research Awards in the Humanities, the James W. McLamore Research Awards in Business and the Social Sciences, and the Research Awards in the Natural Sciences and Engineering.

2017 College of Engineering Recipients

  • The research of Sung Jin Kim, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, focuses on a new type of energy generation using nanotechnology and biological engineering. He explains, “Dr. Agarwal [assistant professor at the Department of Biomedical Engineering] and I will investigate the feasibility of a synthetic power generator using an engineered muscle structure and piezoelectric nanomaterials. This will eventually lead to the possible development of new energy devices that can be used for implantable devices or unmanned vehicles in an underwater environment.”
  • The research of  Ramin Moghaddas, assistant professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering, centers on utilizing big data analytics to generate real-time actionable insights and control and decision-making intelligence. The pilot project supported by the 2017 Provost’s Research Award will focus on developing new stochastic models for smart-grid data analytics in power distribution systems. “The proposed research brings the problem of data-driven anomaly analytics and decision-making more in line with the current big data trends in power utility companies,” explains Dr. Moghaddass, “ultimately bridging the gap between advanced big data analytics, real-time decision-making, and sensor-driven condition monitoring.”
  • The research of Noël Ziebarth, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, concentrates on identifying strategies to slow the development of cataracts. “We want to be able to link age-related changes in the membrane surrounding the lens to cataract formation and eventually to use this information to develop an anti-cataract strategy that can be easily implemented,” says Dr. Ziebarth.

Congratulations to Drs. Kim, Moghaddass and Ziebarth.