As the 11th largest engineering program in the nation, the Oregon State University College of Engineering is also among its most productive. Since 1999, the college has more than tripled its research expenditures by emphasizing highly collaborative research and innovation that address regional and global problems. The College of Engineering is positioned as a leader in signature research areas of precision health, clean energy, resilient infrastructure, and advanced manufacturing; and targeted strategic areas including robotics, materials research, and clean water.
In the fiscal year 2016-2017, the College of Engineering received more than $55.6 million in sponsored research awards, with funding from agencies such as the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Defense.
The following is an overview of notable College of Engineering grants received during the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
- Over the past year, Oregon State University has joined three National Network for Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, showcasing the strength of advanced manufacturing research:
-In partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the College of Engineering, led by Brian Paul and Goran Jovanovic, was selected to co-direct the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment Institute, which will help improve efficiency in the U.S. chemical industry.
-The College of Engineering, led by Kagan Tumer and Jonathan Hurst, will contribute to enhancing the competitiveness of manufacturing in the United States as one of the founding academic partners in the newest Manufacturing USA Institute, the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Innovation Hub.
-As partner in the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII), the College of Engineering will significantly expand its outreach and collaboration with Pacific Northwest business and industry, helping to save energy, waste less, create jobs, and become more internationally competitive. Karl Haapala and Carlos Jensen have led Oregon State’s participation in launching CESMII.
- Under the leadership of Belinda Batten, Oregon State University’s Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center was awarded up to $40 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to create the world’s premier wave energy test facility in Newport. The grant will fund a grid-connected wave energy test center and will allow researchers to build and test new wave energy technologies.
- A $625,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Wind Technology Office was awarded to a team led by Roberto Albertani, associate professor of mechanical engineering, to develop technology aimed at detecting and deterring eagles from colliding with wind turbines.
- A National Science Foundation award will establish a Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) Rapid Response Research facility. Michael Olsen, as co-principal investigator, will work with a team led by the University of Washington to provide equipment and logistical resources for reconnaissance efforts.
- In collaboration with the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded Oregon State University a $1.5 million grant. Principal Investigator Meghna Babbar-Sebens, assistant professor of civil engineering and Eric H.I. and Janice Hoffman Faculty Scholar, will conduct research focused on accelerating discovery and innovation at the nexus of food, energy, and water systems by creating a state-of-the-art cyberinfrastructure for adaptation planning.
- Alan Fern, professor of computer science and associate director of the Collaborative Robotics and Intelligence (CoRIS) Institute, and a team of computer science professors received a $6.5 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to better understand the decision-making behind artificial-intelligence-based systems like autonomous vehicles and robots. The project involves collaboration across the disciplines of artificial intelligence and machine learning, computer vision, human-computer interaction, natural language processing, and programming languages, and seeks to make autonomous vehicles and robots more trustworthy.
- A $1 million National Science Foundation grant was awarded to a team of researchers led by Geoff Hollinger, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and core member of the Collaborative Robotics and Intelligence (CoRIS) Institute, to study the operation of autonomous marine vehicles in an effort to improve the vehicles’ ability to operate with little to no communication with a human technician.
- Five faculty members in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University have received more than $2.5 million in prestigious early career awards. The recipients of the National Science Foundation CAREER awards include:
-Julie Tucker, assistant professor of mechanical engineering
-Ross Hatton, assistant professor of robotics and mechanical engineering
-Attila Yavuz, assistant professor of computer science
The recipient of the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award is Geoff Hollinger, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and core member of the Collaborative Robotics and Intelligence (CoRIS) Institute. Arun Natarajan, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, received the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Young Faculty Award.