Innovating at the frontiers of engineering

Posted: June 2, 2021

Within the Ohio State University's College of Engineering, Associate Professor Karen Dannemiller and Assistant Professor Asimina Kiourti are picked to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s 2021 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium this September.

More than 100 outstanding early career engineers will meet for an intensive three-day program to discuss cutting-edge developments in four areas: 

  • Resilience in Pandemics: Data and Digital Infrastructure for Informed Decision-Making
  • Cybersecurity of Critical Infrastructure
  • Transforming the Climate Change Discussion: the Role of Direct Air Capture
  • Investigating the Final Frontier: Engineering the Future of Space Exploration

Kiourti, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, conducts research at the intersection of bioelectromagnetics, wearable and implantable antennas, body monitoring sensors, and flexible textile-based electronics. She has earned widespread recognition for her work, including the the 2018 International Union of Radio Science Young Scientist Award and 2021 “40 Under 40” honors from Columbus Business First. Her publication record includes 11 book chapters, 5 granted patents, 62 journal papers, and more than 110 conference papers and abstracts.

Her interdisciplinary collaborations span five colleges at Ohio State. A current project includes developing a new class of wearable, “e-textile” coils that can seamlessly monitor joint kinematics in a person's natural environment. The research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation's Division of Information and Intelligent Systems. Her work is also supported by the National Institutes of Health, NASA, the Defense Health Agency, and the U.S. Navy.

With a joint appointment in the Departments of Civil, Environmental, and Geodetic Engineering, and Environmental Health Sciences, Dannemiller is the director of Ohio State’s Indoor Environmental Quality Laboratory. Her interdisciplinary research integrates engineering with microbiology and addresses emerging public health challenges and environmental concerns. 

She is the senior author of a recently published study that revealed RNA from the COVID-19 virus can persist up to a month in vacuumed dust, offering an innovative option for monitoring virus outbreaks in specific buildings, including nursing homes, offices or schools. In 2019, she received a five-year, $500,000 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation for her research on novel indicators of mold growth in homes. She also received nearly $1 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop a smartphone-based allergen sensor for use in homes of asthmatic children.

The 2021 symposium is tentatively scheduled to be held September 22-24 with backup dates of September 27-29 if it is an in-person meeting. The goal of the Frontiers of Engineering program is to introduce outstanding early career engineers to each other, and through this interaction facilitate collaboration and the transfer of new techniques and approaches across fields.

“The Frontiers of Engineering program brings together a talented group of young engineers from different technical areas to spark innovation and facilitate long-term collaborations,” said NAE President John L. Anderson. “These relationships are critical in developing creative engineering solutions to the world’s problems.”

Story via College of Engineering