UT Dallas Faculty Early Career Awards

UT Dallas has experienced tremendous success in receiving early faculty awards resulting in over $16 million over the past 10 years, including 27 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER awards. Geared toward helping beginning faculty establish their career and teaching path, fund labs, and provide a stable source of support, these career making awards afford a rare opportunity for early-career faculty to jump start their independent research, as well as compete for major grant support.

In 2017, six faculty members received prestigious career awards from NSF and the Department of Defense covering topics as varied as wearable and autonomous robots to liquid crystal polymers. [Em to revisit.]

The Office of Research would like to recognize these faculty members for their contributions to advancing research and education. They are the Rock Stars of Research!

2017

Dr. Robert D. Gregg, IV — 2017: National Science Foundation (CAREER) Recovering and Enhancing Natural Locomotion in Changing Conditions with Powered Lower-Limb Prostheses and Orthoses. Dr. Gregg, IV is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is also the Director of Locomotor Control Systems Lab. He is the Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Robotics, a conference editorial board member for IEEE Control Systems Society, and a current review panelist for the National Science Foundation (NSF). His research focuses on the control mechanisms of human locomotion with applications to wearable and autonomous robots.
Dr. Taylor Hutchins Ware— 2017: US Air Force Office of Scientific Research(YIP) Designing Microstructure in Ordered Polymer Actuators. Dr. Ware is an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering. He is also a member of several professional societies, co-inventor of five patents, and author or co-author of more than 40 scientific publications. His research interests include liquid crystal materials, flexible and stretchable electronics, biomaterials, and the interfacing of these technologies.
Dr. Jeyavijayan Rajendran – 2017: National Science Foundation (CAREER) Towards Provably-Secure Design of Integrated Circuits. Dr. Rajendran is an Assistant Professor in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. His research interests focus on hardware security, nanoelectronic computing architectures, and VLSI design.
Dr. Chadwin Delin Young – 2017: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) Fundamental Electronic Device Performance and Reliability Investigation on Chalcogenide- and Oxide-based N- and P-type Materials for Large Area/Flexible Electronics. Dr. Young is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He has participated in several Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) conferences and workshops and has served as a guest editor for IEEE Trans. Device and Materials ReliabilityIIRW. His research interests focus on electrical characterization methodologies, reliability characterization methodologies, solid state device physics, electrical properties of materials, MOS modeling (quantum effects, etc.), nanotechnology, flexible electronics, and future energy needs (renewable, low power operation, etc.).
Dr. Vibhav Giridhar Gogate – 2017: National Science Foundation (CAREER) Fast, Accurate Estimation and Prediction using Markov Logics. Dr. Gogate is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science. He has participated in the UAI 2016 Probabilistic Interference Evaluation. His research interests include machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), data mining, and big data.
Jeremiah Joseph Gassensmith – 2017: National Science Foundation (CAREER) Viral Capsids as Smart Nanocontainers. Dr. Gassensmith is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. His research focuses on three areas of research, wherein biologically inspired viral capsids are used to improve the performance and process-ability of new materials that otherwise would not be as easily accessible without the noncovalent forces provided by these unique scaffolds.
Dr. Tyler Holt Summers – 2017: US Army Research Office (YIP) Quantifying network controllability and observability using optimal control and estimation metrics. Dr. Summersis an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests focus in feedback control and optimization in complex dynamical networks, emphasizing theoretical tools and computational methods and driven by applications to electric power networks and distributed robotics.

2016

Dr. Lunjin Chen – 2016: US Air Force Office of Scientific Research (YIP) Investigation of Wave Particle Interaction in the Earth’s Magnetosphere using Conjugated Observations. Dr. Chen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics. His research focuses on the nature of electromagnetic waves in our geospace and the effect of wave-particle interaction.
Dr. Ryan Patrick McMahan – 2016: National Science Foundation (CAREER) Leveraging the Virtualness of Virtual Reality for More-Effective Training. Dr. McMahan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science. He is an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Review Editor for Frontiers in Virtual Environments, and has sat as co-chair for several IEEE Virtual Reality Conferences and Symposium. His research interests focus on virtual reality (VR), training transfer, 3D user interfaces (3DUIs), and human-computer interaction (HCI)
Dr. Karen Michelle Rodrigue – 2016: Alzheimers Association (New Investigator Research Grant) Links Between Brain Iron and Beta-amyloid Deposition in Aging and MCI. Dr. Rodrigue is an Assistant Professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and Center for Vital Longevity. Her research focuses on mapping the changes that the healthy human brain undergoes with aging and understanding how these changes affect behavior.
Dr. Alvaro Cardenas – 2016: National Science Foundation (CAREER) Practical Control Engineering Principles to Improve the Security and Privacy of Cyber-Physical Systems. Dr. Cardenas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering. He is a member of the Cyber Security and Education Institute. His research focuses on cyber-physical systems and IoT security and privacy, network intrusion detection, and wireless networks. an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering. He is a member of the Cyber Security and Education Institute. His research focuses on cyber-physical systems and IoT security and privacy, network intrusion detection, and wireless networks.
Dr. Fabiano Da Silveira Rodrigues – 2016: National Science Foundation (CAREER) Experimental and Theoretical Investigation of the Electrodynamics and Structuring of the Low-Latitude Ionosphere. Dr. Rodrigues is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and in the William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences, a research center in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He has conducted research at some of the largest and most sensitive radio observatories in the world, including theArecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and the Jicamarca Radio Observatory in Peru. His research focuses on physics of the upper atmosphere, ionospheric electrodynamics and irregularities, development and application of remote sensing techniques for fundamental and applied studies of the upper atmosphere, numerical modeling studies of the thermosphere and ionosphere, and studies of ionospheric irregularity effects on signals used by global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).
Dr. Michael D. Burton – 2016: National Institutes of Health (K22) The Role of Cell-specific TLR-4 Signaling in Developing Chronic Pain. Dr. Burton is an Assistant Professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. He is currently a member of the Texas Pain Research Consortium. His research focuses on how the immune system modulates peripheral sensory neurons to regulate pain and energy homeostasis.
Dr. Kenneth Leon Hoyt – 2016: National Institutes of Health (K25) Molecular Ultrasound Imaging of Cancer Response to Antiangiogenic Therapy. Dr. Hoyt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering. He is a member of the Technical Standards Committee of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) and Technical Committee member of the Quantitative Imaging Biomarkers Alliance of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). His research interests focus on cancer research, medical imaging, signal and image processing, and ultrasound.

2015

Dr. Carlos Alberto Busso – 2015: National Science Foundatio (CAREER) Advanced Knowledge Extraction of Affective Behaviors during Natural Human Interaction. Dr. Busso is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. He has held many chair positions, including Program Chair for ICMI and Publicity Chair of Interspeech last year. His research interests are in digital signal processing, speech and video processing, and multimodal interfaces and his current research includes modeling and understanding human communication and interaction, with applications to automated recognition and synthesis to enhance human-machine interfaces.
Dr. Zhiqiang Lin – 2015: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) A Dual-VM Binary Code Reuse Based Framework for Automated Virtual Machine Introspection. Dr. Lin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science. He has established and directs the Systems and Software (S3) Lab under the Cyber Security Research and Education Institute (CSI). His research interests focus on systems security, program analysis, and cloud computing.
Dr. Fatemeh Hassanipour – 2015: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) A Dual-VM Binary Code Reuse Based Framework for Automated Virtual Machine Introspection. Dr. Hassanipour is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She has participated in several conferences, including “An Experimental Study on Human Milk Viscosity”, in November 2016. Her research focuses on heat transfer and fluid mechanics with applications in energy conservation, storage, and management, electronic cooling, health and bioengineering (modeling and simulation of biomechanical systems).
Dr. Arif S. Malik – 2015: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) Highly-Efficient Dynamic Prediction Models for Quality Improvement in Cold Rolling. Dr. Malik is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He has organized several conferences, including “Engineering Brighter Futures for Autism” last year. His research focuses on computation mechanics, uncertainty analysis, reliability-based design optimization, rolling of metal alloys, micro air vehicle wing design, and laser peening.
Dr. Yonas Tegegn Tadesse – 2015: Office of Naval Research – (YIP) Musculoskeletal System Design, Fabrication and Modeling for Robotic Systems. Dr. Tadesse is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests focus on humanoid robotics, emerging applications of smart materials, sensors, and actuators, mechatronic system, multimodal energy harvesting, modeling, controls and biomimetics.
Dr. Majid Minary-Jolandanis – 2015: Office of Naval Research – (YIP) Towards Advanced Nanoscale Additive Manufacturing (AM) of Metals: A Fundamental Theoretical, Multi-Physics Simulation and in situ Electron Microscopy Approach. Dr. Minary-Jolandanis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His research focuses on multifunctional materials, bioinspired materials, nanomanufacturing, advanced manufacturing, nanobiomechanics, and nanomaterials.
Dr. Andrian Marcus – 2015: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) Management of Unstructured Information During Software Evolution. Dr. Marcus is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering. He currently serves on the editorial board of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, the Empirical Software Engineering Journal (Springer), and the Journal of Software: Evolution and Process (John Wiley and Sons). His research focuses on software engineering, with focus on software evolution and program comprehension.
Dr. Bilal Akin – 2015: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) Real-Time Fault Diagnosis and Failure Prognosis of Next Generation Power Electronics Systems. Dr. Akin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. He is a Senior Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Member. His research focuses on fault diagnosis and condition monitoring of power electronics components and drive systems; design, control, and diagnosis of electric motors and drives; power electronics, digital power control and management; and applications of control theory, machine learning, and signal processing to energy conversion systems.

2014

Dr. Majid Minary-Jolandanis – 2014: US Air Force Office of Scientific Research – (YIP) Lessons from Bone to Bioinspired Tough and Self-Remodeling Aerospace Materials. Dr. Minary-Jolandanis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His research focuses on multifunctional materials, bioinspired materials, nanomanufacturing, advanced manufacturing, nanobiomechanics, and nanomaterials.
Dr. Nikki Ayanna Delk – 2014: National Institutes of Health – (K01) Cryptoprotective Autophagy in Bone Metastatic Prostate Cancer. Dr. Delk is the Assistant Professor in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Her research focuses on inflammation in cancer initiation/progression; signaling pathways that regulate autophagy and autophagy-related proteins in the inflammatory tumor microenvironment.
Dr. Leonidas Bleris – 2014: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) Versatile Transcription Activator-like Effector Libraries for Genome-wide Screens. Dr. Bleris is an Associate Professor with the Bioengineering Department. He has served with the Board of Mathematical Sciences and their applications and since 2008 has served as an Independent Expert with the European Commission under the “Science, Economy and Society” directorate. His research has focused on systems biology, mammalian synthetic biology and genome editing.
Dr. Jung-Whan (Jay) Kim – 2014: Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation – Evaluation of Hypoxia-inducible Factor-1 (HIF-1) Signaling as Anti-fibrosis Therapy. Dr. Kim is an Assistant Professor in Molecular and Cell Biology in the Department of Biological Sciences. His research interests include stromal fibroblasts within the tumor microenvironment, Adipocyte hypoxic response in mammary tumor progression, and the role of HIFs in non-small cell lung cancers.

Dr. Anton Malko – 2014: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) Engineering Efficient, Thin-film Hybrid Photovoltaic Elements Based on Excitonic Energy Transfer. Dr. Malko in an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics. He is a member of the American Physical Society. His research focuses on experimental condensed matter, optical spectroscopy of nanoparticles, optical properties of semiconductors, nano-optics, femtosecond spectroscopy, time-resolved photoluminescence, nanostructured solar cells, energy transfer in nanoscopic systems, and quantum optics.

2013

Dr. Robert D. Gregg, IV – 2013: National Institutes of Health – (DP2) PHASE-BASED CONTROL OF LOCOMOTION FOR HIGH-PERFORMANCE PROSTHESES AND ORTHOSES. Dr. Gregg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is also the Director of Locomotor Control Systems Lab. He is the Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Robotics, a conference editorial board member for IEEE Control Systems Society, and a current review panelist for the National Science Foundation (NSF). His research focuses on the control mechanisms of human locomotion with applications to wearable and autonomous robots.
Dr. Walter Everett Voit – 2013: Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency – (YFA) Smart polymer devices for chronic multifascicular microstimulation. Dr. Voit is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He is involved with Community Outreach: Materials Engineering, Technology and Science (COMETS) and consults with TriQuint, and is also a former member of the McDermott Faculty, Materials Research society, TMS, as well as the founder and former CTO of Syzygy Memory Plastics. His research interests focus on shape memory polymers, polymer manufacturing, ionizing radiation, thermomechanical properties, and biopolymer mechanics.
Dr. Robert D. Gregg, IV – 2013: Burroughs Wellcome Fund Agency – Career Award at the Scientific Interface. Dr. Gregg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is also the Director of Locomotor Control Systems Lab. He is the Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Robotics, a conference editorial board member for IEEE Control Systems Society, and a current review panelist for the National Science Foundation (NSF). His research focuses on the control mechanisms of human locomotion with applications to wearable and autonomous robots.
Dr. Fabiano Da Silveira Rodrigues – 2013: US Air Force Office of Scientific Research – (YIP) Comprehensive study of low-latitude inospheric F-region irregularities. Dr. Rodrigues is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and in the William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences, a research center in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He has conducted research at some of the largest and most sensitive radio observatories in the world, including theArecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and the Jicamarca Radio Observatory in Peru. His research focuses on physics of the upper atmosphere, ionospheric electrodynamics and irregularities, development and application of remote sensing techniques for fundamental and applied studies of the upper atmosphere, numerical modeling studies of the thermosphere and ionosphere, and studies of ionospheric irregularity effects on signals used by global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).
Dr. Min Chen – 2013: National Institutes of Health – (K25) Mapping Expression Quantitative Trait Loci with Next Generation Sequencing in SLE.  Dr. Chen is an Assistant Professor in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, as well as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Quantitative Biomedical Research Center, Department of Clinical Sciences, and UT Southwestern Medical Center. His research interests focus on statistical genomics and bioinformatics, Bayesian methods, and sampling.
Dr. Siavash Pourkamali Anaraki – 2013: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) Thermally Actuated Nanomechanical Resonators and Self-Sustained Oscillators. Dr. Anaraki is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He holds several issued patents and pending patent applications in the areas of silicon micro/nanomechanical resonators and filters and nanofabrication technologies, some of which have been licensed to major players in the semiconductor industry. His research focuses on electro-thermal nanomechanical actuation, M/NEMS resonators and filters, nanomechanical resonant sensors, integrated silicon-based MEMS and microsystems, and micromachining and nanofabrication technologies.
Dr. Ronald Alexander Smaldone – 2013: American Chemical Society – Dynamic Synthesis and Assembly of Nanoporous Materials. Dr. Smaldone is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. His research focuses on developing new methods for the synthesis and processing of porous materials and polymers for the storage of hydrogen, natural gas and electrical power; the design and synthesis of novel polycyclic aromatic building blocks for the development of electrically-active and highly-ordered solid state materials; and using synthetically functionalized biomolecules (i.e., DNA and peptides) to direct the formation of nanostructured devices and soft-materials.

2012

Dr. Kelli L. Palmer – 2012: American Chemical Society – K22: CRISPR defense and acquired antibiotic resistance in Enterococcus faecalis. Dr. Palmer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. Her research focuses on microorganisms contributing to significant mortality and cost burdens in the health care industry
Dr. Kristin M. Kennedy – 2012: National Institutes of Health – K99R00: Role of White Matter Integrity in Age-Related Functional Reorganization. Dr. Kennedy is an Assistant Professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. She currently serves as an editor for the journal NeuroImage. Her research focuses include the normal aging of human brain structure and function (using neuroimaging tools) and their cognitive consequences (using neuropsychological/cognitive assessments); health, lifestyle and genetic modifiers of these age-related changes in brain and cognition.
Dr. Xiaohu Guo – 2012: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) Spectral Deformable Models: Theory and Applications. Dr. Guo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science. He is currently on the journal editorial board for Graphical Models and has participated in several conferences as a chair, co-chair, or member level. His research focuses on mesh generation, centroidal voronoi tessellation, spectral geometric analysis, deformable models, GPU algorithms, 3D and 4D medical image analysis.

2011

Dr. Kevin W. Hamlen – 2011: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) Language-based Security for Polymorphic Malware Protection. Dr. Hamlen is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department. He is also a Senior Technical Advisor of UTD’s Cyber Security Research and Education Institute. His research focus concerns the field of language-based security, which leverages techniques from programming language theory and compilers to enforce software security.
Dr. Hoi Lee – 2011: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) Capacitor-Assisted Design Paradigm for Future Generations of High-Power-Density High-Power-Efficiency Power Management and Delivery. Dr. Lee is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I (TCAS-I). He serves as the Chair of Power Management Technical Sub-Committee of the IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference and the technical program committee members of the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) and the IEEE International Symposium on Power Semiconductors and ICs (ISPSD). His research focus includes analog integrated circuits and power management integrated circuits.
Dr. Heng Du – 2011: National Institutes of Health – (R00) Mitochondrial pore and synaptic stress in Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Du is an Assistant Professor in the Biological Sciences Department. His research focuses on the mitochondrial role in neurodegenerative diseases. Specifically, the research interests fall under two themes: (a) mitochondria particular synaptic mitochondria-associated mechanisms of neurodegeneration in neurological diseases; and (b) translational study on mitochondrial medicine to protect neurodegeneration under pathological states, by using a combination of molecular biology, cell biology, electrophysiology and pathology on research models including gene-modified animal, cell models and embryonic & induced pluripotent stem cells.

2010

Dr. Karen Michelle Rodrigue  – 2010: National Institutes of Health – (K99)Vascular Effects on Normal Neural and Cognitive Aging. Dr. Rodrigue is an Assistant Professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and Center for Vital Longevity. Her research focuses on mapping the changes that the healthy human brain undergoes with aging and understanding how these changes affect behavior.
Dr. Dongsheng Brian Ma – 2010: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) Analog Computation Based Real-Time Global Power Management: From Devices to Multi-Core Systems. Dr. Ma is the Erik Jonsson Distinguished Chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He serves on the Technical Committee of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductor (ITRS), as well as an Executive Committee and Thrust Leader in Energy Efficiency at SRC TxACE Center. His research focuses on integrated power electronics, analog and mixed signal circuit design, and renewable energy harvesting and management.
Dr. Wenchuang Hu – 2010: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) Molecular Scale Electronic Biosensor for Single Molecule Sensitivity & High Specificity. Dr. Hu is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is an active reviewer for prestigious journals and national funding programs. His current research aims to develop CMOS based nano-sensor chips to detect biochemical molecules and miniature diagnostic system using mobile phones.
Dr. Mihaela Corina Stefan – 2010: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) Rational Design of Semiconducting Polymers with Tunable Opto-Electronic Properties: An Interdisciplinary Program for Research and Education. Dr. Stefan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She is a member of the American Chemical Society and Materials Research Society. My research interests encompass the synthesis and characterization of novel polymeric materials for applications in organic electronics and medicine.

2009

Dr. Yang Liu – 2009: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) Using Rich Information from Speech and Text for Meeting Summarization. Dr. Liu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science. She has served as an Associate Editor for several publications, including her current position of ACM Transactions on Asian Language Information Processing. Her research interests focus on spoken language processing, speech recognition and understanding, natural language processing, identification of speech and language disorder, and machine learning in speech/language processing.
Dr. Murat Kantarcioglu – 2009: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) An Integrated Approach for Efficient Privacy Preserving Distributed Data Analytics. Dr. Kantarcioglu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering. Most recently, he has participated as a Program Committee Co-chair or Committee Member in several conferences. His research focuses on creating technologies that can efficiently extract useful information from any data without sacrificing privacy or security.

2005

Dr. Mike W. Peng – 2009: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) Strategic Choices During Institutional Transitions. Dr. Peng is an Assistant Professor in the School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics. His research interests divide into three areas: statistical genomics and bioinformatics, bayesian methods, and sampling.

2003

Dr. Balakrishnan Prabhakaran – 2003: National Science Foundation – (CAREER) Animation Databases. Dr. Prabhakaran is a Professor of Computer Science in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering. Currently, he is the Editor-in-Chief of Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Special Interest Group on Multimedia (SIGMM) web magazine, member of the editorial board of Multimedia Systems Journal (Springer) and Multimedia Tools and Applications Journal (Springer). His research focuses on video and healthcare data analytics, streaming 3D video, animations, deformable 3D models, content protection and authentication of multimedia objects, Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees for streaming multimedia data in wireless ad hoc and mesh networks, and collaborative virtual environments.