SUNY Poly Announces Recipients for Research Seed Grants

SUNY Poly Announces Recipients for Research Seed Grants

Sunday, June 2, 2024 - 15:37
In the News
SUNY Poly Faculty in the News

Will fund over $400K in faculty projects across disciplines

UTICA, NY – SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is pleased to announce the round one recipients of Seed Grant funds, with 11 faculty-led projects receiving a total of $440,675. SUNY Poly’s Associate Provost for Research Office received the applications from faculty, which were reviewed by peers who determined which projects would be supported.

SUNY Poly is one of the 14 SUNY campuses that received a share of nearly $10 million in annual state funding to expand their research capacity. Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced the investment as part of the 2023-24 state budget’s historic $163 million increase in direct operating aid to SUNY’s state-operated campuses. SUNY Poly received $2.7 million to support a wide variety of research efforts, including seed grants for faculty as well as the creation of research centers. 

“We thank Governor Kathy Hochul and SUNY Chancellor Dr. John B. King Jr. for their support of SUNY Poly and for this historic funding that made these Seed Grants possible,” said Provost Dr. Andrew Russell. “Our faculty are working together to explore new frontiers across many disciplines, and we are excited to support them as they work with our students to pursue innovations within areas of academic priority for SUNY Poly, such as materials and advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, sustainable infrastructure, and health.”

“We received 34 applications from faculty in what was an incredibly competitive first round,” said Associate Provost for Research and Interim Dean of the College of Engineering Dr. Michael Carpenter. “That is a testament to our amazing faculty and the groundbreaking work they are completing in their respective fields.” 

 Faculty Projects Explained
• SUNY Poly President Dr. Winston Soboyejo (PI) was awarded $52,000 for research with Drs. Theresa Ezenwafor and Lauren Endres (Co-PIs) on treatments for triple negative breast cancer. 
• Dr. Kazuko Behrens (PI) is receiving $52,000 for a collaboration with Drs. Rebecca Weldon and Dan Jones (Co-PIs) that will explore neurological and behavioral factors that correlate with the levels of sensitivity mothers exhibit while interacting with their children.
• Dr. Byeongdon Oh (PI) and Dr. Linda Weber (Co-PI) are receiving $52,000 for a collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley to develop an evidence-based prototype and policies to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM programs on college campuses. 
Dr. Patricia Roach (PI) was awarded $52,000 and will collaborate with Dr. Jerome Niyirora (Co-PI) to use predictive analytics and machine learning models to understand the interplay between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), war trauma, resilience, and physical and mental health outcomes in refugee populations. This will help the researchers identify risks, protective factors, and potential diagnosis and treatment methods.
Dr. Jiayue (Joyce) Shen (PI) was awarded $52,000 for a project being done in collaboration with Drs. Tabiri Kwayie, Desmond Klenam, Kwadwo Mensah-Darkwa, Henry Agbe, Sarah Osafo, Precious Osayamen Etinosa, Theresa Ezenwafor and Dr. Soboyejo (Co-PIs). This research aims to develop novel titanium alloys that could lead to revolutionary advancements in the field of biomedical implants, resulting in improved patient outcomes and reduced risk.
Drs. Arjun Singh (PI) and Priyangshu Sen (Co-PI) are receiving $52,000 for a project that aims to utilize ML and AI applications and algorithms to solve problems related to THz hardware, propagation, and reliability issues.
Dr. Mahmoud Badr (PI) is receiving $32,000 for a project with Dr. Hisham Kholidy (Co-PI) to enhance security and privacy in smart power grids, which are susceptible to electricity theft cyber-attacks, resulting in significant financial losses for electric utility companies and compromising grid performance. Their project aims to develop an innovative framework for detecting electricity theft.
Dr. Robert Edgell (PI) has been awarded $32,000 for a project with Drs. Bill Durgin and Juan Felipe Henao (Co-PIs), to develop the The Sustainable Aerospace Energy Center, which will develop a decision-making framework to guide the aerospace industry toward more sustainable practices while maintaining technical efficiency, benefiting both environmental preservation and commercial space development.
Dr. Aarthi Sekaran (PI) has been awarded $32,000 for a collaboration with Dr. Ahmed Abdelaal (Co-PI) that will complete a detailed analysis of the upper trachea, focusing on the non-Newtonian flow interactions between the mucus and airflow. The goal is to develop a framework for enhanced design of mechanical ventilation assemblies. 
Dr. Adam McLain (PI) is receiving $27,675 and will be leading a team to Nosy Hara, an island near Madagascar, to collect genetic data from an isolated population of dwarf lemurs. This data will be used to better understand the level of genetic diversity in a relatively small and isolated population of primates, as well as to inform future conservation strategy. The dwarf lemurs of Nosy Hara are among the most isolated primates on Earth.
Dr. Rebecca Weldon (PI) is receiving $5,000 to support an exercise that will be completed by students in her Research Methods of Psychology course. Students will work in small groups to evaluate information they are exposed to online (e.g., on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok). The goal of this study is to use survey measures to evaluate how effective the exercise is in reducing students’ susceptibility to misinformation.