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Rising Stars at Lassonde Receive Seed Funding

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2021 Lassonde Innovation Fund! A total of 5 projects were funded to support innovative research projects with great potential. Most of these projects are from new and rising stars who were hired within the last four years. Our mechanical engineering department was particularly successful, with four out of five Lassonde Innovation Fund winners. 

“The intent of this competition is to give faculty members with a grand idea a stepping-stone towards making it a reality. Any idea is risky at the beginning, but with a little help to get over that bump, there are often rewards to be had on the other side. It is incredible to see that new faculty at Lassonde are demonstrating ingenuity and innovation in their research projects,” commented John Moores, Associate Dean of Research & Graduate Studies.  

Projects were awarded under two categories:  

Category A – Innovative and Risky projects leading to future funding applications  

Category B – Inter-departmental/multidisciplinary/inter-Faculty projects.   

Read about the winning projects below: 

Category A: Innovative and Risky Projects Leading to Future Funding Applications

Electrostatic Adhesion for Mesoscale Parallel Robotic Grippers 

Ryan Orszulik, Assistant Professor, Earth and Space Science and Engineering 

Machine Learning Guided Materials Design to Alleviate Heavy Metal Pollutions 

Cuiying Jian, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering 

Smart Brace for Knee Rehabilitation 

Garrett Melenka, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering 

TiO2-Polymer Nanocomposite Aerogels for Air and Water Purification 

Marina Freire-Gormaly, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering 

Co-applicants: Paul G. O’Brien, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering & Thomas Cooper, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Category B: Interdepartmental, Multidisciplinary, and Inter-Faculty Projects

Bioprinting a Single Vascular Network for Tissue Engineering 

Aleksander Czekanski, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering 

Congratulations to all the winners!