Faculty Scholar Awardees

With GIE assistant professorships, engineering researchers are able to explore new research directions, write proposals, collaborate with colleagues across UW-Madison, and pursue high-caliber students. Read on to learn about their impressive accomplishments and plans to catapult their research in new directions.

2019 Awardees

Stephan Rudykh Headshot

Assistant Professorship

Stephan Rudykh, Mechanical Engineering

“My research focuses on developing soft materials for artificial muscles, actuators, sensors, and soft robotics. Our group uses a mix of theory, simulations and experiments involving advanced 3D printing techniques. One of our active projects is on soft magnetoactive materials. We have just published our new discoveries in the Physical Review Letters journal, and it has been selected as the editors’ suggestion. We are excited to collaborate across GIE. One such collaboration with AJ Boydston, Associate Professor of Chemistry, focuses on understanding the properties of soft digital materials.”

Bu Wang Headshot

Assistant Professorship

Bu Wang, Civil and Environmental Engineering

“My research connects materials science with civil engineering to develop high impact waste upcycling pathways, sustainable construction materials, and novel construction methods.

Two recent technologies on coal ash recycling and carbon dioxide capture were accepted by WARF for patenting. We are working with WARF to build industrial partnerships and develop prototypes to demonstrate commercialization potential.”

2018 Awardees

Assistant Professorship

Jennifer Choy, Engineering Physics

“The GIE Faculty Scholar Award supports my effort to build an experimental group focused on developing sensors and metrology tools based on quantum systems. We work to develop photonic components that improve performance and utility of atom-based clocks, inertial sensors, and magnetometers, and explore the use of optically-active defects in semiconductors. The Award will support student funding and equipment purchase, which will enable the continued growth of quantum sensing efforts at UW-Madison, and will promote collaborations with other groups across campus, focusing on a large-scale NSF and DOE Quantum Center of Excellence proposal.”

Assistant Professorship

Adrien Couet, Engineering Physics

“Thanks to the GIE Faculty Scholar Award, I [organized] an international workshop at UW-Madison with 50+ attendees from many prestigious universities, industries and national laboratories in North America, Oceania and Europe. The workshop, Mechanical Understanding of Zirconium Corrosion (MUZIC), [helped] showcase my research with laboratory visits and [allowed] my students to network with companies, national labs and universities. The award also allowed me to organize the 2019 Nuclear Innovation in Paris. The bootcamp is a two-week event to spark innovative ideas in the participants’ bright minds and to give them the tools to become successful entrepreneurs in nuclear energy.”

Assistant Professorship

Shiva Rudraraju, Mechanical Engineering

“The Faculty Scholar Award has improved my group’s ability to model and validate additive manufacturing techniques, and will be used in part to 3D print modeling-informed graded metallic structures and to develop preliminary results for pursuing grants in the near future. This research will help expand our understanding of how and why 3D printed parts fail, and how new alloy compositions can be manipulated to reduce these undesirable qualities. Ultimately, I hope to make additive manufacturing more accessible and commonplace in modern manufacturing.”

2017 Awardees

Andrea Hicks Headshot

Assistant Professorship

Andrea Hicks, Civil and Environmental Engineering

“My work focuses on the environmental impacts and sustainability implications of emerging technologies. The GIE Faculty Scholar Award is being utilized to support work on the environmental impacts of engineered nanomaterials and the environmental impacts of their raw materials and production. This is critical work, as the consumption of engineered nanomaterials for various applications is projected to increase significantly in the future.”

Assistant Professorship

Younghyun Kim, Electrical and Computer Engineering

“My group received the Low-Power Design Contest Award at the International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design (ISLPED) in 2018 for our design technique that improves the energy efficiency of continuous sensing and signal processing. With the help of GIE, I [also prepared] a new interdisciplinary research proposal for NSF [focused] on using state-of-the-art technologies in engineering, such as Internet of Things and machine learning, to better manage dairy barns and reduce energy/water usage and improve animal welfare.”

Sangkee Min

Assistant Professorship

Sangkee Min, Mechanical Engineering

“The GIE Faculty Scholar Award has helped me develop my research programs, which focus on manufacturing for design, sustainable smart manufacturing, and industrial internet of things. Thanks to the award, I have been able to meet program directors, collaborators, and fund research projects that were not previously possible. My NSF CAREER award would not have been possible without the Faculty Scholar Award and the support of the GIE proposal team.”