Three Indian-American researchers have recently been named among 38 recipients of the 2021 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Awards – University of Rhode Island’s Dr Ashutosh Giri, University of Southern California’s Dr Rehan Kapadia and Dr Tanushree Mitra from the University of Washington.
The recipients will share $20 million in funding to conduct scientific research that will benefit the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
Giri is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering. His research involves finding ways to prevent heat buildup at the nanoscale to make electronic systems more efficient. He has been selected for his study titled, ‘Unraveling the Microscopic Dynamics of Coupled Energy States in Nanostructures.’ While the research could apply to numerous fields, the Navy is particularly interested in improving its energy systems and technology, a press release issued by the university said.
“The research could enable new forms of electronic cooling and revolutionary thermal management strategies that could prove crucial for the Navy’s future microelectronic systems,” Giri was quoted as saying.
An assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, Kapadia focuses his research on the intersection of material science and electrical engineering. Most of his work involves designing next-generation electronic and photonic devices and developing new techniques to fabricate them better.
Kapadia’s research is titled “Direct Generation of Electromagnetic Radiation with a Compact, Air-Stable, Optically Modulated Electron Emitter”. The University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering confirmed that the research builds on his previous work in developing optically modulated electron sources for communication applications.
It added that for this project, Kapadia “seeks to convert information carried by photons in a laser beam into information carried by an electron beam, thereby greatly increasing the power of communication signals.”
An assistant professor in the Information School at the University of Washington, the research interests of Mitra lie in social computing, where the ideas from both computer science and social science are combined to uncover insights about social life online through large datasets. At present, one of the main focuses of her research — titled “Influencing Communities and Narratives: New Techniques for Understanding Adversarial Influence Online” – is understanding and designing defences against problematic information in online social platforms.
The final candidates were chosen from over 260 applicants who are all college and university faculty and obtained a PhD on or after January 1, 2013. The awardees represent as many as 25 academic institutions in 13 states. They support naval-relevant research, including autonomy, deep learning, optimization, artificial intelligence, wireless communications, energetics, power and energy, propulsion, turbulence, hypersonics, remote sensing, bio-sensors, bionic composites, nanocomposites, multi-function materials and additive manufacturing.