Engineers Among Winners of Research Funding Competition

April 24, 2019 - Five Samueli School professors made the cut when UC Irvine’s Office of Research awarded funds this week in its 2018-19 Research Seed Funding Program. This year’s competition sought to identify multidisciplinary projects that could eventually attract additional funding and become larger-scale campus centers.

Researchers campuswide submitted 22 proposals. Office of Research representatives conducted a thorough review process, interviewing the top contenders in person before making their decision. Six multidisciplinary projects were chosen to receive funds ranging from $75,000 to $150,000.

Winning projects that include Samueli School faculty include:

The UCI Initiative in Electrochemistry and Electrochemical Engineering, led by Plamen Atanassov, Chancellor's Professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. This project brings together chemists and engineers, including Iryna Zenyuk, assistant professor of chemical and bimolecular engineering.

Security, Privacy and Data Analytics of Mobile and IoT Devices, led by Athina Markopoulou, electrical engineering & computer science associate professor, who will collaborate with computer scientists and social scientists.

Institute of Synthetic and Chemical Biology: Tools and Technologies for Biomedical Innovation, which includes Chang Liu, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, along with chemists, pharmaceutical scientists, molecular biologists, and ecology and evolutionary biologists.

Enabling Next-Generation Solar Energy Storage and a Clean Hydrogen Economy, a collaboration between chemists and engineers, including Xiaoqing Pan, Henry Samueli Endowed Chair in Engineering, professor of materials science and of physics & astronomy.

The other two projects funded by the Office of Research include:

The Center for Microbiomes and Global Change, a collaboration that spans evolutionary biology, Earth science, computer science, environmental biology and microbiology; and a proposal to establish a neurovascular research institute, which brings together experts in molecular biology, biochemistry, neurology, neurobiology and behavior, radiology and artificial intelligence.

“We anticipate these awards will prepare the PIs and their teams for successful submission and eventual funding of large center-scale research projects here at UCI,” Pramod Khargonekar, vice chancellor for research, said of the funding competition.

- Anna Lynn Spitzer

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