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2019 ASPIRE Grants awarded to CEC researchers

May 7, 2019

Thirteen CEC researchers are among those awarded grants through ASPIRE, the signature competitive internal grant program of the Office of the Vice President for Research. The program is a cornerstone of faculty research and scholarship at the University of South Carolina.

ASPIRE grants fund promising faculty research, shared infrastructure and cross-disciplinary research projects to help strengthen UofSC researchers’ competitiveness for external grants and increase scholarly activity throughout the UofSC system.

“We are so proud to announce a new round of ASPIRE investments for 2019,” said USC Vice President for Research, Prakash Nagarkatti. “The selected projects from our outstanding faculty represent a wide variety of subject areas, from art to engineering, helping us to fund important scholarship across disciplines and boosting research throughout the UofSC system. It is my pleasure to congratulate all of the 2019 ASPIRE grant awardees.”

2019 ASPIRE engineering and computing recipients are listed below, by funding track.

2019 ASPIRE-I: Innovation recipients

Sub-track I, junior faculty development

Faculty member Department Research Title
Iftikhar Ahmad Electrical Engineering Low-cost compact neutron detectors using thick BN layers over sapphire
Austin Downey Mechanical Engineering Real-Time Surrogate Model Updating for Structures Experiencing High-Rate Dynamics
Pooyan Jamshidi Computer Science & Engineering Optimizing Energy Consumption of Deep Neural Networks for Intelligent Learning Systems


Sub-track IIB, postdoctoral scholar development

Postdoctoral student
Department Research Title
Ritubarna Banerjee Chemical Engineering Hetero-atom Doped Carbon Nanotubes as Supports in the Strong Electrostatic Adsorption of Platinum and Palladium Catalysts
Seong Hyeon Hong Mechanical Engineering Embedded Machine Learning Platform for Automated Fault Detection and Mitigation in Dynamic Systems
Guangzhao Qin Mechanical Engineering Development of machine learning based interatomic potential for multiscale modeling of thermal management of electronics using Boron Arsenide (BAs)
Pengtao Wang Mechanical Engineering Development of Durable, Anti-scaling, and Cost-effective Surfaces for Thermal Desalination


Sub-track IV, senior faculty exploration

Faculty member Department Research Title
Guoan Wang Electrical Engineering Environment Adaptive Position Independent Wireless Power Transfer Technologies


2019 ASPIRE-II: Integration recipients

Faculty Member(s) Department(s) Research Title PI College
Benjamin Schooley Integrated Information Technology Development of RunRA: A Mobile Application for the Self-Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis Arnold School of Public Health

Inthuorn Sasanakul, Nikolaos Vitzilaios

Civil & Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Drone-implemented integration of GIScience, Engineering, Plant Biology, and Community Education for Dam Safety Assessment College of Arts and Sciences
John Rose Computer Science and Engineering The Whole Earth Book Catalog College of Arts and Sciences


2019 ASPIRE-III: Infrastructure recipients

Faculty Member Department Research Title
Lang Yuan Mechanical Engineering Powder Management System for Laser Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing


The full list of ASPIRE recipients is available on the Office of Research website. Complete details about the ASPIRE program, including criteria for each funding track and sub-track, are available on the program’s home page.

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