Interdisciplinary Research Projects leaders to present highlights Sept. 16

Interdisciplinary Research Projects leaders will present their highlights beginning at 10 a.m. Sept. 16 at the John Bardo Center lobby.

“These projects intentionally assembled expertise from a range of disciplines to solve problems that are highly challenging, extremely interesting, and whose solution is high impact,” said Andrew Hippisley, dean of the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “These are the very problems that a single discipline is not equipped to solve. It will be exciting to hear the highlights and results to date from each of the projects.”

During the vent, lead researchers for Wichita State’s Interdisciplinary Research Projects will provide updates on their efforts to address pressing societal issues with a goal to improve the growth and diversity of Kansas’s economy.

“What has been most rewarding about this initiative was the opportunity for so many researchers from different disciplines across campus to discuss their research and find common interests,” said Coleen Pugh, dean of the graduate school and vice provost for research. “That alone was a success.”

Each project was initially funded in 2020 by a $300,000 grant from the university, distributed over three years. Project groups also have applied for additional external funding.

The projects include:

  • The Smart Fusion Material Research Institute has a goal to develop novel computational, material and digital manufacturing approaches to unlock the complex interactions among material, microstructure, processing and mechanical properties involved in additive manufacturing. Lead researcher and presenter will be Gisuk Hwang, associate professor of mechanical engineering.
  • The Disaster Resilience Analytics Center has a goal to leverage the university’s expertise in artificial intelligence, deep learning and multiple modes of big data to better predict natural and human- made disasters, and to improve preparedness by creating a new generation of digital platforms and support services. Lead researcher and presenter will be Atri Dutta, associate professor of aerospace engineering.
  • The Institute for Health Disparities has a goal to generate new methods to reduce obesity among vulnerable populations and improve health literacy as a mechanism among health care providers for behavior change. Lead researcher and presenter will be Twyla Hill, professor of sociology.
  • The Center for Educational Technologies to Assist Refugee Learners has a goal to design innovative solutions to meet the educational needs of the children of the more than 70 million forcibly displaced refugees worldwide. As a result, it will also create innovative pathways and software for educational access to those in our state and nation. Lead researcher and presenter will be Mythili Menon, assistant professor of linguistics.