Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics Professor Honored with NSF CAREER Award

February 7, 2013 — Five Drexel Faculty have been recognized by the National Science Foundation with CAREER Program Awards for their continued research.  Among the honored is Dr. M. Ani Hsieh, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics.  Hsieh received the $249,999 award for her proposal, CAREER: A New Paradigm in Control and Coordination of Robot Teams in Geophysical Flows.

Hsieh’s research focuses on overcoming the theoretical and technical challenges required to enable autonomous underwater and surface vehicles (AUVs/ASVs) to better navigate in highly dynamic and noisy environments, such as the ocean.  

AUVs and ASVs have found significant  commercial, military and scientific applications and are often used to study the dynamics of plankton assemblages in the ocean, map the seafloor for the oil and gas industries and in anti-submarine warfare missions.

Hsieh hopes that a greater understanding of the geophysical fluid dynamics will allow scientists to better leverage the inherent motions in the ocean to plan more energy-efficient navigation strategies for applications like data harvesting, environmental monitoring, and tracking of contaminants.

National Science Foundation CAREER awards recognize and support junior faculty who demonstrate outstanding research and a commitment to education. “NSF CAREER award winners represent the nation's most promising new faculty in science and engineering,” said Dr. Deborah Crawford, Drexel’s senior vice provost for research

If successful, Hsieh and her team’s research could have a large impact on the way that we think about navigating in the ocean.

“At the end of the day the ocean impacts our day-to-day lives on land, but much of our understanding of the ocean is still in its infancy,” Hsieh said.

“We are proud of our faculty and it’s a great honor to see them join the ranks of the more than 40 Drexel engineering faculty members that have received CAREER awards,” said Dr. Joseph B. Hughes, dean of the College of Engineering.