CoE News Briefs August 2019

CoE Professors Bolster Drexel’s Patent Ranking

Drexel University once again ranked in the National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association’s list of the world’s top 100 universities for patents granted in the country in 2018. Coming in at number 51, Drexel moved up three spots from last year’s ranking in the prestigious list, which the University has consistently made since the inaugural report was issued in 2013. With 44 issued patents from 2018 where Drexel was listed as the first assignee, the University is tied for 51st place with the Science & Technology Corporation at the University of New Mexico.

The ankle replacement device developed by College of Engineering Professor Sorin Siegler, PhD, and the Drexel start-up company Kinos Medical led by Drexel alumnus Brian Garvey.
The ankle replacement device developed by College of Engineering Professor Sorin Siegler, PhD, and the Drexel start-up company Kinos Medical led by Drexel alumnus Brian Garvey.

We highlight two CoE professors in particular whose patents contributed to this ranking. Among them, a patent for a new type of ankle replacement device developed by Dr. Sorin Siegler, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics (MEM). This technology is being developed by the Drexel start-up company Kinos Medical, which is led by Drexel alumnus Brian Garvey.

Another patent covers a device that allows utilities to determine if the pipes connecting homes to municipal water mains are made of lead, permitting a fast, inexpensive identification of those homes at risk for lead contamination. It was developed by Dr. Kurt Sjoblom, an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (CAEE); Dr. Ivan Bartoli, associate professor, CAEE; and Dr. Charles Haas, department head CAEE and LD Betz Professor of Environmental Engineering.

MSE ’15 PhD Grad Appointed to ETH Zurich Faculty

Dr. Maria Lukatskaya, a ’15 PhD student of Dr. Yury Gogotsi of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), has been appointed to a faculty position at ETH Zurich, one of the top-ranked technical institutes in the world. Lukatskaya will serve as an assistant professor (tenure track) of electrochemical energy systems, as selected by the Board of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology.

“I am very grateful for my time at Drexel: a lot of great memories, exciting scientific discussions and good friends that I gained during my PhD,” said Lukatskaya via email. “I was also extremely lucky to have Yury as my PhD adviser. He is not only an amazing scientist from whom I learned so much, but is extremely supportive of his students.”

Lukatskaya is the third alum from Gogotsi’s group to join academia in 2019, including Yohan Dall’agnese and Babak Anasori.

Lu and Zhang Strike Again at IEEE Journal

Fei Lu
Dr. Fei Lu

Dr. Fei Lu, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), and Dr. Hua Zhang, an ECE research associate, have received the Prize Letter Award for 2018 in the IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics. This is the top journal in the field of power electronics. Their paper was selected from among 935 papers published in the journal in 2018. It is titled, "A Two-Plate Capacitive Wireless Power Transfer System for Electric Vehicle Charging Applications," IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 964-969, Feb. 2018.

This prestigious recognition is all the more noteworthy given that Lu and Zhang have also won the best paper award in the journal in 2015 and 2016.

Under Walker’s Leadership, CoE Wins Diversity Award

The American Society for Engineering Education has awarded CoE its Bronze ASEE Diversity Recognition Award, the highest level distributed during this, the first year of the ASEE Diversity Recognition Program. The program grew out of a Deans Diversity Pledge established by the society in June of 2018.

ASEE Diversity Badge

The award places CoE among the nation’s leaders in inclusive education in recognition of a culture that supports underrepresented groups, a particular mission under the leadership of Sharon L. Walker, PhD, dean of the college.

Some 82 universities across the country submitted applications for review that outlined a baseline support program for underrepresented groups; quantified policies, culture, and climate related to underrepresented groups; demonstrated initiatives and programs aimed at strengthening the K-12 pipeline to reduce barriers to engineering education access; and demonstrating an action plan focused on continual improvement.

PhD Alum Schiffman Wins Young Investigator Award

Jessica Schiffman

Dr. Jessica Schiffman, a PhD graduate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), was awarded an ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2019 Young Investigator Award. Schiffman is a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She will deliver her talk at the ACS Fall National Meeting in San Diego at the end of this month. Her talk is titled, “Interfacing polymer materials with microbiology.”

CAEE Student Nguyen a Double Scholarship Winner

Joan Nguyen
Joan Nguyen

Joan Nguyen, a second-year BS/MS student in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (CAEE), has been awarded the prestigious Freeman-ASIA Scholarship, and a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. She will be studying at Seoul National University this fall.

The Freeman-ASIA Scholarship provides US undergraduates with an opportunity to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia. The Gilman Scholarship supports study and internships abroad. Scholars are selected for their academic preparedness, diversity of background, and connection of the program to their academic goals.

“I am interested in Korean culture and have been since I was a young kid, so it’s been a destination I always wanted to visit,” said Nguyen. “It’s also known for being ethnologically advanced and I think that type of environment would help me explore my field. I want to bring ideas from there back to America. The engineering is very advanced there so it’s motivational for me to study there, as well.”

Dr. Ellis Targets Responsive Urban Environments

Dr. Eugenia Victoria Ellis, AIA and professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (CAEE), organized, presented on, and ran a recent workshop at Drexel titled “Responsive Urban Environments.” Responsive Urban Environments, or RUE, examines cities through the lens of ecosystem management and considers them as a complex network of interrelated systems that rely on each other to maintain system balance. Other CoE speakers at the workshop included CAEE Associate Professors Dr. Franco Montalto and Dr. Patrick Gurian, along with guests from the Polytechnic University of Milan.

Dr. Wen Talks to the DOT about IoT

Jin Wen
Dr. Jin Wen

Dr. Jin Wen, a professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (CAEE), recently presented at the Department of Energy FY ‘18 Building Technology Office FOA Kick-off meeting about her new DOE project, “IoT-Based Comfort Control and Fault Diagnostics System for Energy Efficiency,” in Arlington, VA. The project is a collaborative effort between The University of Alabama, Drexel University, Clemson University, and the Pacific Northwest National Library. In this project, Wen and her group work with partners to develop a cost-effective and IoT-based comfort control and fault diagnosis system for residential buildings.

Current residential buildings are typically equipped with limited numbers of thermostats and no other indoor environment monitoring capabilities. Recent developments of smart home technologies, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, and low-cost sensing technologies present a strong opportunity to develop an IoT-based comfort control system that can provide integrated controls and automatic fault diagnostics to achieve better occupant satisfaction and increased energy efficiency.

Dandekar Wins DARE Award

Dr. Kapil Dandekar, associate dean for research and graduate studies and professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will serve as PI on a Drexel DARE Award granted at the close of the 2018-19 academic year. The focus of Dandekar's Drexel Areas of Research Excellence project, is "Internet of Things for Future Smart Campus and City."

Kapil Dandekar
Dr. Kapil Dandekar

The goal of the DARE initiative is to identify unique and distinctive areas of inter-disciplinary scholarship. This round of the DARE competition resulted in 22 applications from 177 team members across the university. Only three DARE awards were granted.

The inter-disciplinary project led by Dandekar has co-PIs from across CoE as well as other colleges on campus. CoE faculty include Dr. Franco Montalto, Dr. Youngmoo Kim, Dr. Steven Weber, Dr. Antonios Kontsos, Dr. Anup Das, and Dr. Adam Fontecchio. Investigators from other colleges include Dr. Ali Shokoufandeh (College of Computing and Informatics), Dr. Jason Orne (College of Arts and Sciences), Dr. Endla Anday (College of Medicine), Dr. Owen Montgomery (COM), Dr. William Mongan (CCI), Dr. Rajneesh Suri (LeBow College of Business), Dr. Vineet Bhandari (COM), and Dr. Mimi Sheller (CoAS).

Dr. Tang Wins NSF Grant

Dr. Maureen Tang, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE), has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant in the amount of $250,276 for her project titled, “Collaborative Research: Regulating homogeneous and heterogeneous mechanisms in six-electron water oxidation.”

Dr. Wrenn Is Issued a Patent

Dr. Steve Wrenn, professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE), and CBE alumnus Dr. Stephen Dicker announced the issuance of their patent "Encapsulation of Microbubbles Within the Aqueous Core of Microcapsules." Patent number 10, 258, 563 was issued on April 16, 2019.

Magenau Wins Young Investigator Award

Dr. Andrew Magenau, an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), has been selected as a 2019 PMSE Young Investigator by the Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE) of the American Chemical Society. The award recognizes early stage researchers who have “made significant contributions to their respective fields within Polymer Science and Engineering.” Approximately 15 researchers are selected annually for the honor.

Lockheed to Host Student Ethics Contest

As part of Lockheed Martin’s commitment to partner with leading colleges and universities to prepare its future workforce for careers with a strong foundation in business ethics, the company will host its 3rd Annual Ethics in Engineering Case Competition, a two-day competition to take place February 27-28, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland.

Lockheed Martin Logo

The competition is designed to test student knowledge of business, ethical, and engineering challenges “to resolve real-life challenges,” according to a company press release officially inviting the participation of teams from Drexel University. Schools may bring a team of two undergraduates and a faculty advisor, with a strong preference for teams with at least one engineering undergraduate.

For more information on the event and details on how to register today, visit the 2020 Ethics in Engineering site.