Pilot Grant Program - Clarkson Ignite Research Fellowship Competition Winners

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POTSDAM, NY (03/14/2018) Clarkson University has launched a Pilot Grant Program to foster synergistic campus-wide research collaborations to spur innovative solutions across four multidisciplinary research focus areas: advanced materials development, healthy world solutions, data & complex systems analytics, and next-generation health technologies. The aim of this program is to drive innovative research that can have a societal impact at the national and international levels.

The program received 35 collaborative proposals from 68 unique faculty, with 22 faculty participating in two or more proposals from both Potsdam and CRC campuses for its first phase competition. All proposals were peer-reviewed by experts (mostly external) for scientific merit, societal impact, feasibility, and fundability. An Internal Selection Committee comprised of university academic administrators then used these expert reviews to down select to thirteen teams for a final "shark tank" style competition where they "pitched" their proposal ideas and needs.

Thirteen multidisciplinary faculty teams from 14 departments representing all three schools at Clarkson University competed for funds to recruit and support highly talented Ph.D. students for up to five years on the project. Each team had three minutes to pitch their collaborative proposal to a panel of judges on March 1 at the Multi-Purpose Room in Student Center. They then had an additional four minutes to respond to questions from judges. At the conclusion of all thirteen team presentations, judges announced the winners.

The judging panel included Lisa Napolione (Sr. Vice President, Global Research & Development, Estee Lauder Companies), Bob Ziek (President, ZSource Ltd.), Dr. David Amberg (Vice President for Research, Upstate Medical University), Matt Watson (Director, Division of Science, Technology & Innovation, ESD), Ken Solinsky (Past President and Founder, Insight Technologies), Dr. Paul Antonik (Chief Scientist, Information Directorate, AFRL) and Dr. Gina Lee-Glauser (Vice President for Research and Scholarship, Clarkson University).

There was an overwhelming response to the competition and a lot of excitement and energy during the event. Following the presentations, President Collins announced the Ignite Research Fellows will bear the donor's name and they will help support the research team's success through deeper coaching and engagement opportunities. "This is a fabulous initiative to continue building on the Ignite momentum, and I am so grateful to donors for jump-starting, and continuing to support an important and much-needed initiative to support faculty scholars and graduate research fellows," Lee-Glauser said.

Following are six award-winning teams along with their proposal and respective multidisciplinary research focus areas.

Awarded Solinsky-Ignite Research Fellowships

  • Marko Budisic (Math), Pat Piperni (MAE) and Brian Helenbrook (MAE) in Data & Complex Systems Analytics project entitled, "Enhancing aerodynamic optimization using dynamic mode decomposition of unsteady flows"
  • Zijie Yan (CBE) and Jan Scrimgeour (Phy) in Advanced Materials Development project entitled, "Hybrid nanomaterials with plasmonic-enhanced upconversion luminescence"

Awarded Craig-Ignite Research Fellowships

  • Mario Wriedt (Chem) and David Mitlin (CBE) in Advanced Materials Development project entitled, "Advanced CO2 capture capacities by porous carbons derived from biomasses"
  • Selma Mededovic (CBE), Tom Holsen (CEE) and Michelle Crimi (E&M) in Healthy World Solutions project entitled, "Development of a plasma-based process for treatment of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in ion exchange brine regenerant solution"

Awarded Nicklas-Ignite Research Fellowships

  • Daqing Hou (ECE), Stephanie Schuckers (ECE) and Mahesh Banavar (ECE) in Data & Complex Systems Analytics primary area and Healthy World Solutions as secondary area project entitled, "Next generation behavioral biometrics: capturing more application usage behavior"
  • Chen Liu (ECE) and Tino Tamon (CS) in Data & Complex Systems Analytics project entitled, "Using low-level hardware features for runtime malware detection and defense"