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Faculty and Student Highlights

Faculty and Student Highlights

By Editorial Staff

Faculty Highlights

Sushil Adhikari, professor of biosystems engineering, was awarded more than $700,000 from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs for the project “Advanced Liquid Transportation Fuels from Co-Liquefaction of Forest Biomass and Waste Plastics.” 

Majid Beidaghi, associate professor of mechanical engineering, is the principal investigator on a nearly $1 million grant to improve the academic success of undergraduate mechanical engineering and materials engineering transfer students. 

Benjamin Bowers, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, will lead an interdisciplinary team on a $1.539 million project from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to address increasingly critical needs necessary for resilient infrastructure. Collaborators from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering include Jose Vasconcelos, associate professor; Frances O’Donnell, assistant professor; and Brian Anderson, associate professor. 

Fa Foster Dai, the Godbold Endowed Chair Professor in electrical and computer engineering, was named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. 

Robert Jackson, the Albert Smith Jr. Professor of mechanical engineering, was named a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. 

Jay Khodadadi, professor of mechanical engineering, was named a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. 

Robert Pantazes, assistant professor of chemical engineering, is a collaborator on a $6 million project funded by the National Science Foundation to develop sensors to promote quality control in the biomanufacturing sector. 

Vrishank Raghav, assistant professor of aerospace engineering, received a $500,000 National Science Foundation CAREER award for his project “Fluid- Structure Interactions in Pulsatile Flow.” 

Nima Shamsaei, Philpott-WestPoint Stevens Distinguished Professor of mechanical engineering and director of the National Center for Additive Manufacturing, is the principal investigator on a $4.3 million Army grant to investigate materials, parts and process qualification. Co-principal investigators include Masoud Mahjouri-Samani, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering; Shuai Shao, associate professor of mechanical engineering; and Elham Mirkoohi, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. 

Alice Smith, the Joe W. Forehand/Accenture professor of industrial and systems engineering, was named a fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science. 

Jose Vasconcelos, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been recognized with the 2022 Outstanding Associate Editor Award by the ASCE Environmental and Water Resources Institute. Vasconcelos is also the principal investigator on a nearly $800,000 National Science Foundation to study Adverse Multiphase Flow Interactions. 

Jin Wang, the Walt and Virginia Woltosz Professor of chemical engineering, was named a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors. 

Shiqiang (Nick) Zou, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, is the principal investigator on a $533,000 subcontract from the Department of Energy - National Alliance for Water Innovation. 

Student Highlights

Two aerospace engineering students were named Department of Defense SMART Scholars: doctoral student Roberto Perera Aguiar and junior Lila Saunders.

Mousumi Akter, a third-year doctoral student in computer science and software engineering, was awarded a student scholarship to attend the Virtual Grace Hopper Celebration Conference and was selected for the Google CS Research Mentorship Program.

Auburn University Robotic Mining Challenge Team placed 12th out of 50 teams in the NASA RMC LUNABOTICS Challenge, an annual competition offering students practical experience in the full engineering lifecycle.

Auburn University Rocketry Association placed 12th out of 76 teams in the 2021 Spaceport America Cup, the world’s largest intercollegiate rocketry engineering contest.

In January 2022, the GAVLab and the Autonomous Tiger Racing Team competed at the Indy Autonomous Challenge at CES in Las Vegas. ATR was the only US-based team that qualified to compete in the race.

Auburn civil engineering graduate students Fernando Cordero and Mitch Fisher were both selected for the 2021 Graduate Research Award Program sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Abbishek Gururaj, a doctoral student in aerospace engineering, won first place in the student poster competition at the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics annual conference in November 2021.

Mohammadjafar Hashemi, chemical engineering doctoral candidate, was awarded a two-year predoctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association to continue his research into cardiovascular disease. 

Luca Kim, doctoral student in the Department of Chemical Engineering, received the Best Poster Award from the North American Membrane Society. 

Three civil engineering graduate students conducting research at the National Center for Asphalt Technology Test Track received competitive scholarships from the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists. Tiana Lynn was awarded the Ward K. Parr Scholarship with Megan Foshee selected as runner-up, and Faustina Keuliyan won the Rebecca S. McDaniel Memorial Scholarship.

Aerospace engineering student Ryota Nakano received a Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) award to further his research on the evolution of binary asteroids.

Nicholas Rush, a senior double-majoring in electrical engineering and aerospace engineering, is one of eight students nationally to receive the 2021 Sigma Gamma Tau National Aerospace Honor Society’s Outstanding Senior Award.

Vinita Shinde, chemical engineering graduate student, received the Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Division Award from the American Chemical Society.

Emily Wilson, aerospace engineering junior, is one of two 2021 recipients of the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate Outstanding Scholar Award.