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March 10, 2024 | Tom Ballard

UTC funds four projects under new mini-grant program

Recipients received $5,000 each to advance their research.

The Clarence E. Harris Chair of Excellence in Entrepreneurship within the Gary W. Rollins College of Business at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) and the UTC Commercialization Counselor from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research recently established a new seed fund. This fund offers mini-grants to assist researchers from across the UTC campus in advancing innovation and research with commercial potential.

Applications from novice researchers and those with ongoing research projects were reviewed. Four UTC faculty projects were selected and awarded $5,000 in internal seed funding as part of a competitive process to foster innovation and facilitate commercialization outcomes. The awardees were:

  • Jejal Bathi from the Department of Civil Engineering and Sree Kidambi Sreenivas from the Department of Mechanical Engineering for a project focused on the development of a standardized approach to sample and track microplastics by creating a lightweight and compact sampling device with automated processes, thus reducing errors in the data and providing consistency in data collection across a variety of scenarios.
  • Austin Harris, Director of Operations and Chief Engineer with the UTC Research Institute, for a ​​cloud-based transportation management system for the integration of non-connected (equality of road users) and connected road users through connected intelligent transportation system infrastructure.
  • Erkan Kaplanoglu from the Department of Engineering Management and Technology and Jason McDowell, Graduate Research Assistant in the Biomechatronics and Assistive Technology Lab, for a project focused on the development of a rehabilitation system using a hand-tracking depth camera and custom software to control an exoskeleton glove for home-based robotic mirror therapy.
  • Nagwan R. Zahry from the Department of Communication for a project to develop an interface for offering healthy food choices and behavior modification with a focus on student communities.

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