NSF Grant for Newly Created School Focuses on Bioengineering Research
TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 13, 2013 – The National Science Foundation has
awarded its first grant to a faculty member in the newly created School of
Engineering and Computational Science at The University of Texas at Brownsville.
Dr. Nazmul Islam, an Assistant
Professor in the Engineering Physics Program under the school in the College of
Science, Mathematics and Technology, has received a two-year grant from the
NSF’s Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems Division
for $173,274 with funding available from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31, 2015.
Dr. Nazmul Islam spends time in UTB’s Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems Lab.
school was created earlier this month and consists of the engineering physics,
engineering technology, computational science and computer and information
grant will enable multidisciplinary engineering research with a broader impact
in biomedicine,” said Dr. Juan R. Iglesias, Chair of the School of Engineering
and Computational Science. “Students at UT-Brownsville will be able to analyze
micro-particle interactions occurring in natural systems in order to engineer
devices that emulate biological models.”
funding will be used to purchase a Micro-Particle Image Velocimetry system,
support faculty research and enable an undergraduate engineering student to
work up to 15 hours a week on research. Islam said he hopes to purchase the
equipment early next year.
of the projects that can be done with the equipment include better understanding
alternating current electrokinetics in micro/biofluidics devices and studying
micropumps and fluid mixing on a microscale.
funding is important,” said Islam. “Definitely it will improve the
collaboration between the engineering faculty. The funding will also help the
student researchers to run more experiments on our micro/biofluidics devices.
In the future we will get additional experimental data using the requested
equipment and publish research papers. It’s good exposure for the faculty and the
university in the research community.”
research work is important in the continued development of bioengineering
devices, said Islam.
grant will provide young investigators with the resources required to greatly
raise the stature of research at UTB, attract new sources of research support
and elevate micro-electro-mechanical systems and biomedical education research
to a competitive level,” said Islam.
School of Engineering and Computational Science offers a bachelor’s degree in
engineering physics with a track in bioengineering that has accreditation from
the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.
bioengineering is an interdisciplinary area that faculty can collaborate and
students can do their research or senior design projects in,” said Islam. “This
semester three students in the bioengineering track are doing Senior Design
with me. Future bioengineering students will definitely be benefitted by this
is the grant’s principal investigator. Co-principal investigators are Dr.
Sanjay Kumar, an Associate Professor and Dr. Yingchen Yang, an Assistant
Professor in the Engineering Program in the School of Engineering and
Computational Science at UTB; Dr. Davood Askari, formerly of UTB and now an
Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Wichita State
University in Kansas and Dr. Constantin Ciocanel, an Associate Professor in the
Mechanical Engineering Program at Northern Arizona University.
the co-principal investigators will work closely in their respective research
areas and utilize the equipment,” said Islam. “The student researcher will be
trained by the vendor to operate the equipment efficiently. The student will
also help all the investigators to finish their proposed research
received in a doctoral degree in electrical engineering in 2007 from The
University of Tennessee. His dissertation was “Alternate Current Electroosmosis
for Lab-on-a-Chip Applications.”
received a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 2002 from Virginia
Polytechnic Institute and State University and a bachelor’s degree in
electrical engineering in 1999 from Bangladesh University of Engineering and