June 27, 2023 Engineering faculty receive 2023-24 WARF Named Professorships, Kellett Fellowships, and Romnes Awards Written By: Natasha Kassulke Departments: Biomedical Engineering|Chemical & Biological Engineering|Civil & Environmental Engineering|Electrical & Computer Engineering|Materials Science & Engineering|Mechanical Engineering Categories: Awards|Faculty Faculty in the University of Wisconsin–Madison College of Engineering are among the 35 UW–Madison faculty awarded fellowships from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education for 2023-24. “These awards recognize our faculty research, academic and outreach successes and provide an opportunity for continued development of their outstanding research programs,” says Steve Ackerman, vice chancellor for research and graduate education. “I’m grateful that we are able to recognize invest in these faculty in this way, and I look forward to seeing the results of their imaginative use of these funds.” The awards are possible due to the research efforts of UW–Madison faculty and staff. Technology that arises from these efforts is licensed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and the income from successful licenses is returned to the OVCRGE, where it’s used to fund research activities and awards throughout the divisions on campus. WARF NAMED PROFESSORSHIPS Robert Nowak Robert Nowak is one of five faculty who have been awarded WARF Named Professorships, which come with $100,000 and honor faculty who have made major contributions to the advancement of knowledge, primarily through their research endeavors, but also as a result of their teaching and service activities. Award recipients choose the names associated with their professorships. Nowak, Grace Wahba Professor of Data Science, holds the Keith and Jane Morgan Nosbusch Professorship in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Nowak is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a member of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) as well as the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS). His research interests include signal processing, machine learning, optimization, and statistics. H.I. ROMNES FACULTY FELLOWSHIPS Five engineering faculty are among the 18 who have been honored with the H.I. Romnes Fellowships to recognize faculty with exceptional research contributions within their first six years from promotion to a tenured position. The award is named in recognition of the late WARF trustees president H.I. Romnes and comes with $60,000 that may be spent over five years. Kevin Eliceiri Kevin Eliceiri is the RRF Walter H. Helmerich Professor of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, director of the Center for Quantitative Cell Imaging, associate director of the McPherson Eye Research and investigator in the Morgridge Institute for Research. His research includes optical and image informatic approaches for cellular microenvironment studies. Christian Franck Christian Franck, professor of mechanical engineering, has pioneered several state-of-the-art 2D and 3D, full-field imaging and motion tracking techniques with applications to mechanobiology, biomechanics and mechanics of materials. Recent accomplishments include resolution of the first physical injury thresholds in neural cells during traumatic brain injuries. His teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses ranging from basic mechanics of materials to flight dynamics and controls of aircrafts. Franck has served as the director for the Center of Traumatic Brain Injury at UW–Madison, as the director of the multi-institutional PANTHER program, as well as a technical editor for the journal of Experimental Mechanics and as editorial board member of the journal Strain. Daniel Ludois Daniel Ludois, Jean van Bladel Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, studies multi-facetted power electronics, fluid mechanics and electrodynamics approach to develop capacitive (rather than inductive) electrical and electromechanical power conversion devices. Applications include wind turbines, electric and hybrid electric vehicles, aerospace, energy storage and infrastructure. His research group uses extensive analytical and computer-based analysis to design and construct laboratory prototypes for model validation. Christy Remucal Christy Remucal, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and environmental chemistry and technology, is an aquatic chemist who focuses on processes that impact the fate of organic chemicals, including pesticides and PFAS, in natural and engineered systems. She directs the Water and Science Engineering Laboratory and teaches across all levels within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Krishanu Saha Krishanu Saha, associate professor of biomedical engineering and affiliate with the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center, studies using human stem cells together with emerging engineering methods in material science and synthetic biology to make smarter therapeutics, model human disease, and advance personalized medicine. KELLETT MID-CAREER AWARDS Three engineering faculty are among the 12 who have been honored with Kellett Mid-Career Awards to support those promoted to tenured positions seven to 20 years ago and who have made key research contributions in their fields. The award, named for the late William R. Kellett, a former president of the WARF board of trustees and president of Kimberly-Clark Corporation, provides support and encouragement to faculty at a critical stage of their careers and comes with $75,000 to be spent over five years. Dane Morgan Dane Morgan, the Harvey D. Spangler Professor of Engineering, uses atomic scale modeling, materials physics and data science to understand and design new materials. His work has contributed to materials development in a range of technologies, including batteries, fuel cells, nuclear reactors and high-power vacuum electronics. He leads the Informatics Skunkworks, a group dedicated to engaging undergraduates in science and engineering informatics research. Sean Palecek Sean Palecek, the Milton J. and Maude Shoemaker Professor in the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering and the Director for Research for the National Science Foundation Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies. Palecek’s research lab studies how human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) sense and respond to microenvironmental cues in making fate choices. Paleck’s lab has generated novel mechanistic insight and developed protocols for differentiation of hPSCs to cardiovascular and neurovascular cell types. They strive to engineer fully defined, animal component-free differentiation platforms, compatible with biomanufacturing of cells for commercial and clinical applications. Justin Williams Justin Williams is the Harvey D. Spangler Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery. His research centers around the development of novel engineering approaches for interfacing with the nervous system for recording and stimulating neural tissues to treat a wide variety of diseases. His research spans an array of approaches, from neurons in culture to clinical trials in human subjects. He is also the co-director of the Wisconsin Institute for Clinical Neuroengineering, which has pioneered a parallel translation approach for accelerating the adoption of new technologies into clinical practice. For the full list of UW-Madison awardees, read this story from the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education.