McKelvey School of Engineering

Three McKelvey faculty members win research equipment awards

(From left) Tae Seok Moon, Barani Raman, Vijay Ramani

Three faculty members in the McKelvey School of Engineering will be able to purchase important equipment needed for their research through grants awarded by the Department of Defense.

The faculty are Tae Seok Moon, associate professor of energy, environmental & chemical engineering; Barani Raman, associate professor of biomedical engineering; and Vijay Ramani, the Roma B. & Raymond H. Wittcoff Distinguished University Professor, also in energy, environmental & chemical engineering.

The highly competitive Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) grants provide faculty members the funds to purchase major equipment to perform cutting-edge research. In 2019, the Department of Defense awarded grants to 185 university researchers at 95 institutions totaling $56 million…

…Raman, in collaboration with Shantanu Chakrabartty, the Clifford W. Murphy Professor in the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering, and Srikanth Singamaneni, professor of mechanical engineering & materials science, plans to develop an automated system that includes a robotic surgical setup for microsurgery in small animal models, a light sheet microscope for functional neural imaging, and computational infrastructure for big-data analysis. Raman and his team have been using insects as model organisms to emulate in making a biorobotic nose. The new equipment will allow his team to perform minimally invasive surgical procedures in the insects’ exoskeletons to insert the functional imaging equipment. In addition, the state-of-the-art light sheet microscopy allows neural tissue contained on an entire optical plan to be illuminated and imaged, allowing the team to label certain neural populations with calcium indicators. Finally, they will incorporate a GPU-based computer cluster to the robotic surgery and neural imaging setup to analyze the up to 100 GB of raw data generated from the imaging.

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