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College of Engineering: 3 Months, $7 Million, 8 Projects

By Keith Pierce

In the final quarter of fiscal year 2018, Batten College of Engineering and Technology faculty were awarded nearly $7 million in grant funding. For fiscal year 2018, faculty received roughly $10 million in awards.

"We've been purposeful in our efforts to go after what it takes to move our research goals forward, as well as to show the nation that engineering at ODU is making a meaningful impact," said Stephanie Adams, dean of the college. "I'm especially pleased to see our early career faculty working hard to secure funding for their research and for our students."

From July 1-Sept. 30, the following grants were awarded to support college research projects:

1. Automation Tools and Analytics Courses for the Naval Shipyards
Total award:

Sponsored by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), a team of faculty, along with members of the Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center (VMASC), will develop courses in the areas of data analytics, predictive analytics, data modeling, data management, enterprise architecture and modeling and simulation to teach professional training courses to NAVSEA staff at all four naval shipyards (Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility). The team will also automate some of the shipyards' analysis processes to improve cost effectiveness.

2. Title: MRI Acquisition: A Reconfigurable Computing Infrastructure Enabling Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Research in Hampton Roads
Total award:

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), this project acquires a reconfigurable computing system to support a broad spectrum of research projects in a tailored computer environment using state-of-the-art technologies. The infrastructure, named DISCOVER, enables big data and high-performance computing research emphasizing three key thrusts: cybersecurity, resilience and data-intensive science and engineering.

3. Title: Rapid Solutions Learning-Projects Program (RSLPP)
Total award:

Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), ODU is working in collaboration with the U.S. Navy to provide students and faculty opportunities to engage directly with Navy personnel to help solve problems identified by Navy commands in Hampton Roads. The program includes opportunities for students and faculty to visit naval installations and to board ships to examine real-time priorities of the Navy.

4. Title: Opportunities in Manufacturing of Advanced Materials for Second-Career-Seeking Students
Total award:

Sponsored by NSF, this project provides scholarships to students seeking a second career in engineering. Engineering and Technology faculty will collaborate with psychology department researchers to study barriers to academic success, recruitment, retention and degree completion of engineering students. The project will study the transition process for second-career-seeking students as an educational psychology research problem, identifying the critical barriers and key factors that facilitate a successful transition to a new career.

5. Title: A Service-Learning Partnership to Enhance Engineering Education and Elementary Pre-service Teacher Education for Undergraduate Students
Total award:

This NSF-sponsored project engages both engineering and education students in the delivery of lessons to elementary school students. Guided by the Next Generation Science Standards and Virginia Standards of Learning Engineering, engineering students will devise the engineering challenges for the inquiry-based lessons, while education students will develop the lesson plans. The project is expected to determine whether significant changes in engineering and science content knowledge can be achieved through collaborative partnerships between engineering and elementary education students.

6. Title: Secure Distributed Digital Manufacturing
Total award:

This ONR-sponsored project addresses the growing vulnerabilities associated with the rise in networked devices and data-processing systems for digital manufacturing. Researchers aim to develop a practical and low-cost framework to enable secure distributed digital manufacturing by creating solutions to fend off future cyber threats and allow distributed entities to encrypt their digital manufacturing data in a way that the data is still computable and therefore able to securely produce the final product.

7. Title: Collaborative Research: Understanding the Role of Directional Porosity in Transport and Mechanical Properties of Hierarchical Sintered Metal Oxide Electrodes
Total award:

The electrodes in solid-state batteries are conventionally made of composites where an electroactive material stores and delivers energy, conductive additives carry electrons and polymer binders hold the components together to provide mechanical robustness. In this NSF-sponsored project, researchers will examine the properties of electrodes comprised of a single sintered, porous thin film as the active material to potentially provide a new paradigm for multifunctional hierarchical materials. This work will provide a framework for understanding electrochemically active and ion-conducting porous ceramics, which have application not only in batteries, but also in other devices such as solid oxide fuel cells and electrochemical sensors.

8. Title: Cybersecurity Acquisition Framework Based On Risk Management: Economic Perspectives
Total award:

In this ONR-sponsored project, researchers will develop an economics-based risk-management framework for cyber-aware acquisition which highlights the interdependencies and ripple effects of the failure of one system onto other systems through the synergy of their respective functions. This project will examine of methods in calculating the monetary value of cybersecurity risk and how one may fit with more traditional acquisition frameworks for both public and private organizations.

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