Faculty and Student Highlights

By Editorial Staff

Faculty Highlights

Brendon Allen, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received a $472,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for the project “Safe Lyapunov-Based Deep Neural Network Adaptive Control of a Rehabilitative Upper Extremity Hybrid Exoskeleton.” Chad Rose, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Jaimie Roper, associate professor of kinesiology, are collaborators on this project.

The Auburn University Transportation Research Institute (AUTRI) was awarded the Council of University Transportation Center‘s (CUTC) 2022 Technology Transfer Leadership Award at the CUTC Annual Awards Banquet in conjunction with the 102nd Annual Transportation Research Board Meeting. Led by Jeffrey LaMondia, professor of civil and environmental engineering, the team included graduate students Fernando Cordero and Corinne Arcenal, as well Sondra Parmer, Ruth Brock and Mitch Carter from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

Bryan Beckingham, associate professor of chemical engineering, was named director of the Center for Polymers and Advanced Composites at Auburn University.

David Bevly, the Bill and Lana McNair Distinguished Professor of mechanical engineering, received a $1.4 million contract from Radiance Technologies, Inc. This effort will study different positioning, navigation and timing methods for space and cyberspace.

Roy Hartfield, Walt and Virginia Woltosz Professor in aerospace engineering, was selected to receive the 2023 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aerodynamics Award. This award is presented for meritorious achievement in the field of applied aerodynamics, recognizing notable contributions in the development, application, and evaluation of aerodynamic concepts and methods and is sponsored by the AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Technical Committee.

Masatoshi Hirabayashi, associate professor in aerospace engineering, was part of a NASA-supported sciencific team assembled to detail results of the first Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). The spacecraft, launched from California in the fall of 2021, successfully collided with Dimorphos, moon of Didymos, on the afternoon of Sept. 26, 2022.

Brendan Higgins, associate professor of biosystems engineering, is the principal investigator on a $9.95 million grant to transform controlled environment agriculture (CEA). Auburn Engineering co-PIs include Sushil Adhikari, professor, Department of Biosystems Engineering; David Blersch, associate professor, Department of Biosystems Engineering; Hossein Jahromi, assistant research professor, Department of Biosystems Engineering; and Daniela Marghitu, Department of Computer Science & Software Engineering.

Joe Majdalani, the Hugh and Loeda Francis chair of excellence and professor of aerospace engineering, was awarded the Abe M. Zarem Educator Award, presented by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, for the third time.

Shiwen Mao, director of the Wireless Engineering Research and Education Center at Auburn University, has been named editor-in-chief of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Transactions on Cognitive Communications and Networking (TCCN), a top-tier publication of the IEEE focusing on spectrum and machine learning.

Alice Smith, the Joe W. Forehand/Accenture Professor of industrial and systems engineering, was named an INFORMS fellow for outstanding lifetime accomplishments.

Daniel Tauritz, associate professor of computer science and software engineering, and interim director/chief cyber artificial intelligence strategist of the Auburn Cyber Research Center since 2020, has been appointed Auburn University’s director for national laboratory relationships.

Jin Wang, the Walt and Virginia Woltosz Professor of chemical engineering, was awarded Auburn’s highest honor for research in 2022 — the Creative Research and Scholarship Award.

Matthew Yarnold, associate civil and environmental engineering professor and director of the Advanced Structural Engineering Laboratory, is the principal investigator on two new projects totaling $547,000 over the next two years. The first featuring Kadir Sener, assistant civil and environmental engineering professor as co-PI, is titled, “Drop-In Top Flange Connections for Increased Speed of Steel Erection,” is sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction. The second, with co-PIs Sener and associate civil and environmental engineering professor David Roueche, is titled “Girder-Slab Experimental Testing” and is sponsored by Girder-Slab Technologies.

Student Highlights

Rudy Al Ahmar, a graduate student in aerospace engineering, received the 2022 Abe M. Zarem Award for Distinguished Achievement in Aeronautics. The award is presented by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Sean Bowerfind, a graduate student in aerospace engineering, was named 2022 Undergraduate Student of the Year by the Greater Huntsville Section of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Morgan Burk and Stanton Freeman, juniors in civil and environmental engineering, placed first in the international American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Innovation Contest at the 2022 ASCE Convention.

Camille Coulter, a senior in biosystems engineering, took home the top prize at the annual Engineer Together design competition for her graphic that visually depicted what it means to “Engineer Together.”

Zoey Cunningham, a senior in electrical and computer engineering, was elected president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, a body of nine historically Black Greek organizations known throughout the country, including both sororities and fraternities.

Jackson Curtis, a senior in civil and environmental engineering, received an annual scholarship from the Alabama Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA), which awards up to three scholarships per year to deserving students in Alabama striving to complete educational requirements for a career path in public works.

The National Science Foundation awarded an INTERN supplement to graduate chemical engineering student Antara Mazumder. The supplement will allow Mazumder to live and conduct research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California.

Shiva Nageswaran, a fifth-year doctoral student in industrial and systems engineering, won the Three Minute Thesis competition for his advanced safe seatbelt design that allows passengers to easily release themselves in the event of a rollover accident.

Prashamsa Pandey, a fourth semester graduate student in computer science and software engineering, was selected to attend the prestigious Computing Research Association (CRA)-Widening Participating (WP) Graduate Cohort for Women in San Francisco.

Chemical engineering junior Kate Preston was named the new Miss Auburn. She will serve as Miss Auburn until the next elections are held in February 2024.

Keziban Saloglu, a doctoral candidate in aerospace engineering, was awarded the 2023 Breakwell Student Paper Award, a prestigious student prize in astrodynamics, awarded by the American Astrological Society.

Two students in aerospace engineering, doctoral candidate Cody Shelton and junior Megan Hayes, were two of 10 scholars nationwide chosen for the 2023 Summer Department of Defense Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (DoD SMART) International Internship Cohort.

Four researchers in aerospace engineering, graduate students Lokesh Silwal, Daniel Stubbs, and Abbishek Gururaj, and postdoctoral fellow Vikas Bhargav coupled their scientific findings with creative visual skills to earn awards at the Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society conference.

Zakariya Veasy, a senior in computer science and software engineering, won the annual Halloween Business Idea Pitch Competition for his creatiom of OMNIS, a crowdsourced social media platform designed to allow individuals the opportunity to earn money through community and peer-to-peer short-term micro-loans.