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Adams to lead TIPs-funded, soldier-inspired innovation hub


Sanchez, Valentine awarded VU Discovery Grants

A new innovation incubator will amplify existing collaborations among researchers and soldiers, building on Vanderbilt’s partnership agreement with Army Futures Command.

The project, Soldier-Inspired Innovation Incubator for Discovering Research-Based Solutions, is one of six cross-disciplinary programs to be funded by Vanderbilt’s Trans-Institutional Programs (TIPs) initiative, a hallmark of the university’s Academic Strategic Plan.

The university announced the 2020 TIPs awards and individual faculty Discovery Grants this week.

TIPs support will augment the Army’s investment by fueling off-campus exploration with new shared and mobile instrumentation for rapid prototyping. The 2019 agreement positions Vanderbilt to become a national model for soldier-integrated research innovation, and the additional Vanderbilt funding will enable an expansion of scope and work to attract industry partners.

Daniel F. Flowers Professor Douglas Adams will lead the effort. Adams chairs the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Joining him are three engineering professors: Vanderbilt Director of Making Kevin Galloway, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; E. Bronson Ingram Distinguished Professor of Engineering Janos Sztipanovits, professor of computer science, electrical engineering and computer engineering; Karl Zelik, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, as well as faculty from the College of Arts and Science, the School of Medicine, Peabody, Owen School of Management and VUMC.

Engineering faculty will participate in two other 2020 TIPs projects: Bennett Landman, professor of computer science, electrical engineering and computer engineering; and Ethan Lippman, assistant professor of chemical and molecular engineering, in the Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer’s Center, and Dorothy J. Wingfield Phillips Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow Audrey Bowden, associate professor of biomedical engineering, in the Vanderbilt Microbial Alliance for Precision: Charting the Unseen.

Additionally, several engineering faculty received 2020 Discovery Grants, which are two-year awards of up to $25,000 each year for pilot or feasibility studies in areas with the potential to make significant breakthroughs. They are:

Florence Sanchez, professor of civil and environmental engineering, for Storing energy in 3D printed functionally graded concrete structures;

Jason Valentine, associate professor of mechanical engineering, for Image Processing at the Speed of Light, which also will include Yuankai Huo, assistant professor of computer science and computer engineering; and

Adam Anderson, professor of biomechanical engineering, who will participate in Brain diversity gets VIBRANT: for a new era of high-resolution comparative neuroanatomy, based in the College or Arts and Science.

Full summaries of the TIPs initiatives are here, and Discovery Grant descriptions are available as well.