Faculty & Research
L3Harris Technologies, Camden, NJ, has awarded Villanova’s Center for Advanced Communications (CAC) a one-year contract of $180,000 for “Machine Learning-based RF Signal Detection and Classification,” in which researchers will investigate the role of machine learning in radio frequency (RF) sensing.
In GPS-denied environments, miniature unmanned aerial vehicles risk losing the capability to locate unseen targets during important surveillance and detection missions. Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Dr. Chengyu Li has found a promising potential solution in nature—specifically, in insects’ ability to detect and locate distant targets by tracking odor plumes in complex flow environments. His research has been awarded a $500,000 NSF CAREER grant.
Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Given its resistance to commonly used antibiotics, the infection has a high case-fatality rate. Since the production of new antibiotics has significantly slowed in the last two decades, identifying cocktails of existing antibiotics with synergistic compounds is a top priority for treating this multi-drug-resistant pathogen. Newly patented findings by Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering Dr. Zuyi “Jacky” Huang and his Biological and Environmental Systems Engineering Laboratory (BESEL) team holds promise for more easily identifying these life-saving compounds.
Adjunct Professor Hasshi Sudler ’92 EE and his team will be launching the world’s first private blockchain outside the Earth’s atmosphere, ushering in space commerce by allowing direct satellite-to-satellite transactions.
Engineering Unleashed Fellowship Honors Professor for Her Creative Approach to Integrating Entrepreneurial Mindset into Teaching
As a 2020 Engineering Unleashed Fellow, Mechanical Engineering Assistant Teaching Professor Dr. Deeksha Seth’s goal is to update how design is taught and incorporated in engineering education and to emphasize integration and connections within engineering and other academic disciplines.
The liver is not only the largest organ in the body but also plays one of the most important roles in human metabolism as it transforms toxic substances in the body. Understanding the way its blood vasculature works is crucial, particularly during organ transplant. College of Engineering Chair Professor Dr. Sylvie Lorente, Mechanical Engineering, is part of an international team whose research shows that the challenge of predicting the liver vessel network can be met thanks to the constructal law of design evolution.
Dr. Moeness Amin, director of the Center for Advanced Communications, has developed technology for a sensor that can detect whether someone may have early symptoms of COVID-19. The sensor is in the final stages of a clinical trial.
Moeness Amin, PhD, Director of the Center for Advanced Communications in Villanova’s College of Engineering, has partnered with Philadelphia-based firm RTM Vital Signs, LLC to develop an accurate, easy-to-use technology to monitor at-risk individuals, including seniors, for early signs of COVID-19—before the infection progresses to a dangerous and potentially irreversible degree.
Villanova Engineering Researcher to Contribute to Development of Single Point-of-Care Medical Imaging Device
Dr. Meltem Izzetoglu, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been awarded $209,000 as part of a $1.9 million Department of Defense grant for a collaborative two-year project titled "Portable Diffuse Optical Sensors for Point-of-Care Monitoring in Prolonged Field Care." The proposed portable system will be designed to integrate several screening, diagnosis and monitoring functions into a single ruggedized system capable of simultaneously monitoring multiple brain and body vital signs to help identify and monitor medical management of injuries and exposures.
Despite his relatively short tenure as an assistant professor, Dr. Xun Jiao in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department has already received a great deal of recognition for his work on the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and machine learning. Most recently, he earned a National Science Foundation Collaborative Research grant for PPoSS (Principles and Practice of Scalable Systems): Planning: S3-IoT: Design and Deployment of Scalable, Secure, and Smart Mission-Critical IoT Systems.
From 2015-2020, while serving as the Edward A. Daylor Chair in Civil Engineering, Dr. Robert Traver, PE, D.WRE, F.EWRI, F.ASCE, ’82 MSCE added to his already long list of accomplishments. His greatest source of pride, however, is the success of his research team within the Villanova Center for Resilient Water Systems.
Committed to “resolving environmental justice issues with resilient engineering solutions,” Professor Bridget Wadzuk looks forward to using the resources of the endowed chair to apply machine learning to stormwater design and integrate stormwater into food-energy-water nexus solutions.
Dr. Ani Ural, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Computational Biomechanics and Solid Mechanics Laboratory, has been awarded a three-year National Science Foundation collaborative research grant to uncover the factors that contribute to atypical femoral fracture, which is a rare side effect of long-term use of some drugs to treat osteoporosis.
Canadian Geotechnical Journal has published a new paper by PhD candidate Shan Tong and Assistant Professor Dr. Kristin Sample-Lord on the engineering properties of enhanced bentonites. Most protective barriers for landfills, mining waste, and radioactive waste disposal include a layer of bentonite (a low-permeable clay) to limit potential contamination of the surrounding soil and groundwater. Novel bentonites that have been enhanced with polymers to improve waste containment have quickly gained popularity, but very little is understood about their long-term resilience and fundamental engineering behavior. The paper presents the results of Shan’s cutting-edge multi-year experimental study to better understand how polymer addition impacts the rate at which contaminants can move through bentonite barriers and into the environment over time.
As the United States aims to revive its manufacturing industry, Mechanical Engineering professors Drs. Bo Li and Qianhong Wu have received a $499,957 NSF grant to develop a new field of fluid-assisted nanomanufacturing with applications in flexible electronics.
Villanova faculty are leading efforts on a smart brain imager (Dr. Meltem Izzetoglu), wetting of binder solution on porous bed of microparticles (Drs. Bo Li and Qianhong Wu) and optimization for microelectromechanical systems devices (Dr. Rosalind Wynne). These projects are among the 43 funded recently by the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Manufacturing PA initiative.
Villanova University Engineers to Investigate Binder Jet 3D Printing of Porous Metal and Ceramic Powders with ExOne
Through a Manufacturing PA grant, Mechanical Engineering’s Drs. Bo Li and Qianhong Wu are partnering with ExOne, the global leader in industrial 3D printers using binder jetting technology, to develop improved 3D printing processes for porous microparticles.
A paper co-authored by Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Dr. Mojtaba Vaezi has been awarded the IEEE Communication Society's 2020 Fred W. Ellersick Prize. “Non-orthogonal multiple access in multi-cell networks: Theory, performance, and practical challenges” appeared in IEEE Communications Magazine.
Faculty in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering have been awarded minigrants from the Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning to develop and improve new and existing courses for undergraduates and graduate students.
Dr. Wenqing “Vicky” Xu, associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been recognized with Villanova’s 2020 University Scholarly Achievement Award. An expert in environmental interfacial chemistry, Dr. Xu has established herself as an exceptional researcher, winning more than $2 million in grants over the course of one year for her work in contaminant destruction, wastewater treatment, and nutrient removal and recovery.
Villanova professor says blockchain technology may be useful in contact tracing | KYW News Radio, 5/20/20
Hasshi Sudler, an adjunct professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, believes blockchain technology would be a useful tool in contact tracing—a process of identifying people who might have come into contact with a person infected with Covid 19, telling them they might have been exposed, and suggesting a course of action ranging from testing to self-quarantining.
Dr. Moeness Amin, director of Villanova University's Center for Advanced Communications, reached an important milestone in his three decades of research and scholarship. His published work, which includes more than 250 journal papers and 550 conference papers, all while at Villanova, has exceeded 20,000 citations with an H-index of 72.
Villanova University Names Engineering Professor Robert Caverly, PhD, as Recipient of 2020 Outstanding Faculty Research Award
Dr. Robert Caverly, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was recognized for his impressive scholarship and reputation in microwave control circuitry. The award recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates the highest standards of excellence in research, scholarship and contributions to their field.
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Dr. Aaron Wemhoff was awarded a VITAL (Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning) Minigrant to restructure the “Teaching Engineering in Higher Education” course for PhD students. The goals are increasing engagement and creating a mechanism for College faculty to improve their own teaching.
Hasshi Sudler ’92 EE, an adjunct faculty member in Electrical and Computer Engineering, is spearheading an effort to track electronic medical records over a blockchain to help stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus. He and Assistant
Dr. Mojtaba Vaezi, assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is a leading voice on Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access, the field in which his publications have been recognized.
Hasshi Sudler, adjunct professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, spearheads a blockchain project useful in tracking positive covid-19 cases through contact tracing. The project aims to prevent future outbreaks.
Oil went negative. What does that mean, and why did it happen? The economy during COVID-19 | KYW 1060 AM, 4/21/20
Dr. Scott Jackson, visiting professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering, teaches a course in petroleum engineering, and he joined KYW In Depth to break down all the reasons why oil went negative, discuss where he thinks the price of gas is going to go, and answers what happens if you just turn off the oil pumps.
“An Input-aware Learning-based Error Model of Voltage-Scaled Functional Units” by Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Dr. Xun Jiao and his PhD student Dongning Ma was named “Best of SELSE” at the Silicon Errors in Logic – System Effects workshop. It will be presented virtually during a special session of the Dependable Systems and Networks 2020 conference and will appear in IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems.
Hasshi Sudler, adjunct professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, explains how the blockchain can be a common source of data that allows medical facilities to share immutable information internationally.
Dr. Pritpal Singh, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is a member of the board of the American Society of Engineering Education. In this profile, he shares his love for teaching, sustainable energy research and working with developing communities.
Dr. Moeness Amin, director of Villanova’s Center for Advanced Communications, College of Engineering, recently traveled to Saudi Arabia where he was invited to lecture on advances in signal processing theory and applications at three Saudi universities.
Electrical and Computer Engineering adjunct professor Hasshi Suddler ’92 EE was among the experts interviewed for this feature on the “war” between blockchain technology and legacy systems (for things like ticketing systems to voting applications).
Changing the course of energy efficiency using the power of university research | Data Center Dynamics, March 3, 2020
Dr. Alfonso Ortega, associate director of the multi-university National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Energy-Smart Electronic Systems, was interviewed on his research into advanced methods for cooling electronic equipment. Dr. Ortega will be speaking on this topic at the upcoming DCD>New York conference.
New research findings show how the shape of boats has evolved over thousands of years to a single design: height equals length. This is a striking finding because the evolution happened regardless of purpose, culture or age, explains Dr. Sylvie Lorente, College of Engineering Chair Professor in Mechanical Engineering and coauthor of “Convergent Evolution of Boats with Sails.”
If passed, bills introduced to the U.S. Legislature could prevent federal agencies from issuing permits for expanded and new fracking in the U.S. An expert in petroleum engineering, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Dr. Scott Jackson can speak to “what fracking is and what it is not.”
Dr. Jens Karlsson Tapped to Lead Industry-Sponsored Research Project on Cryopreservation of Cancer-Fighting Immune Cells
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has entered into research contract with Villanova for $97,000 for work that will be supported by Dr. Jens Karlsson, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of Villanova University's Biothermal Sciences Laboratory, to improve the cryopreservation process for a new cancer-targeting cell therapy product. The work is associated with NovaCell, Villanova’s Center for Cellular Engineering.
As lead of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society's Radio and Wireless Week (RWW2020), Dr. Caverly oversaw five co-located and related topical conferences focused on the intersection between wireless communication theory, systems, circuits, and device technologies. The week provides a unique forum for engineers to discuss various technologies for state-of-the-art wireless systems and their end-use applications.
Drs. Virginia Smith and Andrea Welker in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have been awarded nearly $120,000 in funding through the Pennsylvania Sea Grant program to evaluate the comprehensive impacts of urbanization and restoration on stream processes in the Delaware estuary.
Dr. Lauri Olivier has joined the College of Engineering as its new Director of Engineering Entrepreneurship and Assistant Professor of the Practice. Having most recently led the entrepreneurship program and Snyder Idea Lab in the College of Business Management at Lynn University in Florida, Dr. Olivier possesses more than 20 years’ experience in teaching, innovation management, business development and entrepreneurship. An engineer at heart, she holds a PhD in biomedical engineering from Duke University.
With a National Science Foundation grant, Civil Engineering’s Dr. Jonathan Hubler spent two weeks in New Zealand leveraging field-testing equipment for “Evaluation of Pre and Post Blast Liquefaction Soil and Site Parameters.”