Seed grants help engineering faculty team up for summer research projects

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Four projects have been selected to receive funding through the Penn State College of Engineering's new Multi-campus Seed Grant program.

Established in spring 2017 and jointly sponsored by the College of Engineering and the Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses (OVPCC), the program aims to foster research collaborations between engineering faculty at the University Park campus and at the Commonwealth campuses. 

Project proposals were reviewed by a committee of faculty members and administrators from the OVPCC, Commonwealth campuses and College of Engineering. They were evaluated based on their potential to advance an original, creative and transformative concept, and lead to future opportunities.

The following projects are set to receive up to $25,000 each and will be completed this summer:

  • “Capacitive deionization (CDI) process aided water treatment using coconut shell derived carbon based electrodes,” by Mark Horn, professor of engineering science and mechanics at the University Park campus, and Ramakrishnan Rajagopalan, assistant professor of engineering at Penn State DuBois.
  • “Development of spicule-inspired layer structure by 3D printing,” by Daniel Hayes, associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University Park campus, and Fariborz Tavangarian, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Penn State Harrisburg.
  • “Experimental Investigations on the Aerodynamics of Flapping Wings in Turbulent Environment,” by Bo Cheng, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University Park campus, and Azar Eslam-Panah, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Penn State Berks.
  • “Modification of Dioxazine Pigments for Organic Electronics,” by Enrique Gomez, associate professor of chemical engineering at the University Park campus, and Dinesh Patel, assistant professor of chemistry at Penn State Hazleton.          

Chris Rahn, associate dean for innovation in the College of Engineering, said he is very excited about the funded projects and their potential to nurture collaborations that will result in outstanding research. 

"Getting our Commonwealth and University Park colleagues working together in new collaborations will broadly impact Penn State's ability to compete for external research funding," he said. "It has been very rewarding for our team to work with Rick Brazier and the OVPCC to kick off this program."

The college will begin accepting project proposals for the next round of Multi-campus Seed Grant funding in spring 2018.

Questions about the program can be sent to Susie Sherlock at [email protected].