faculty join School of Engineering & Applied Science <img alt="Green Hall" src="/news/PublishingImages/131009_jaa_brauer_green_hall_029.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><h4> <span class="ms-rteStyle-References">"Each year, we compete with the very best engineering schools to recruit extraordinary faculty members," said Aaron F. Bobick, dean and the James M. McKelvey Professor. "This new cohort is incredibly talented, and we are excited about the new research areas these faculty will bring, as well as their knowledge and experience they bring to our students."<br/></span></h4><p> <br/> </p> <span><hr style="clear: both;"/></span> <h3>Biomedical Engineering </h3><p> <img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Princess%20Imoukhuede%20temp.JPG?RenditionID=7" class="ms-rtePosition-2" rtenodeid="4" alt="" style="margin: 10px;"/><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Princess-Imoukhuede.aspx" rtenodeid="2"><strong>Princess Imoukhuede, associate professor</strong></a> </p><ul><li>PhD, bioengineering, California Institute of Technology</li><li>SB, chemical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology <br/></li></ul><p>Imoukhuede joins BME from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she has been an assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She has earned numerous awards, including the 2017 NSF CAREER Award in 2017 and 2018 IMSA Distinguished Leadership Award.<br/></p><p>Imoukhuede's research focus examines mechanisms regulating angiogenic signaling with focus on tyrosine kinase receptors, VEGFRs and PDGFRs. She pioneers both quantitative biological measurements and computational biological models to delineate ligand-receptor binding, receptor and effector phosphorylation, and sprouting angiogenic hallmarks (cell proliferation and migration). This bottom-up systems biology paradigm offers mechanistic insight towards directing vascular signaling with translational implications to cancers and cardiovascular diseases. <br/></p><p><br/></p><p> <img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Abhinav%20Jha%202018.jpg?RenditionID=7" class="ms-rtePosition-2" rtenodeid="8" alt="" style="margin: 10px;"/><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Abhinav-Jha.aspx" rtenodeid="6"><strong>Abhinav Jha, assistant professor</strong></a></p><ul><li>PhD, optical sciences, University of Arizona</li><li>MS, electrical engineering, University of Arizona</li><li>BTech, electronics engineering, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, India<br/></li></ul><p>Jha joins the BME and Radiology departments at the School of Medicine from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he was an instructor in the Division of Medical Imaging Physics, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science since 2015. Previously, he was a research fellow at Johns Hopkins University. <br/></p><p>Jha's research interests are in the design, optimization and evaluation of medical imaging systems and algorithms using statistical task-based quantitative image-science approaches. He has devised novel theoretical and computational methods for objective evaluation of image quality (OAIQ), simulating imaging systems, and image reconstruction and image analysis. His research has had several clinical and pre-clinical impacts, such as being one of the first to demonstrate the impact of task-specific imaging in improving diffuse optical imaging and diffusion MRI. A major area of current focus is on improving clinical quantitative imaging using a combination of physics and machine-learning-based methods.<br/></p><p><br/></p><p> <img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Jai%20Rudra%20temp.jpg?RenditionID=7" class="ms-rtePosition-2" rtenodeid="11" alt="" style="margin: 10px;"/><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Jai-Rudra.aspx" rtenodeid="9"><strong>Jai Rudra, assistant professor</strong></a></p><ul><li>PhD, biomedical engineering, Louisiana Tech University </li><li>BTech, electronics and instrumentation engineering, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, India<br/></li></ul><p>Rudra joins BME from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where he has been an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago in the Department of Surgery. <br/></p><p>At the University of Texas, he is a member of the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development, the Center for Addiction Research and of the Human Pathophysiology and Translational Research Graduate Program. His research interests are in the design and synthesis of amyloid-inspired supramolecular biomaterials for applications in vaccine development and immunotherapy. <br/></p><p><br/></p> <span> <hr/></span> <h3>Computer Science & Engineering </h3><p> <strong><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Yevgeniy-Vorobeychik-temp.jpg?RenditionID=7" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin: 10px;"/>Yevgeniy (Eugene) Vorobeychik, associate professor</strong></p><ul><li>PhD, MSE, computer science & engineering, University of Michigan</li><li>BS, computer engineering, Northwestern University <br/></li></ul><p>Vorobeychik joins CSE from Vanderbilt University, where he has been an assistant professor of computer science and computer engineering since 2013 and an assistant professor of biomedical informatics at Vanderbilt's Medical Center since 2016. Previously, he was a principal and member of technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. <br/></p><p>His research interests include algorithmic and behavioral game theory, game theoretic modeling of security, electronic commerce, simulation analysis, social and economic network analysis, optimization, complex systems, multi-agent systems, machine learning. <br/></p><p><br/></p><p> <img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Miaomiao%20Zhang%20temp.JPG?RenditionID=7" class="ms-rtePosition-2" rtenodeid="14" alt="" style="margin: 10px;"/><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Miaomiao-Zhang.aspx" rtenodeid="12"><strong>Miaomiao Zhang, assistant professor</strong></a></p><ul><li>PhD, computing, University of Utah</li><li>MS, computer science, East China Normal University, Shanghai</li><li>BS, computer science, Henan Normal University, Henan, China<br/></li></ul><p>Zhang joins CSE from Lehigh University, where she has been an assistant professor of computer science and engineering. Previously, she was a postdoctoral associate in electrical engineering and computer science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. <br/></p><p>Her research interests are in image analysis, machine learning, statistical modeling and computer vision. Specifically, she is interested in developing fast and robust deformable image registration methods for real-time, image-guided neurosurgery; analyzing anatomical shape changes for studying neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, and devising efficient clinical trial-oriented software packages; and leading deep learning research for effective image segmentation and classification, such as tumor identification. <br/></p><p><br/></p><p> <img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Ning%20Zhang%20temp.jpg?RenditionID=7" class="ms-rtePosition-2" rtenodeid="17" alt="" style="margin: 10px;"/><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Ning-Zhang.aspx" rtenodeid="15"><strong>Ning Zhang, assistant professor</strong></a> </p><ul><li>PhD, computer science and applications, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University </li><li>MS, system engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute</li><li>BS, MS, computer science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst<br/></li></ul><p>Zhang joins CSE from Raytheon, a principal cyber engineer and technical lead at Cyber Security Innovations of Raytheon, where he has worked since 2007. In addition, he is an adjunct assistant professor in computer science at Virginia Tech. <br/></p><p>Zhang's research focus is system security, which lies at the intersection of security, embedded system, computer architecture and software. He has worked to protect cyber-physical military systems and critical infrastructures at Raytheon since 2007. <br/></p><p><br/></p> <span> <hr/></span> <h3>Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering</h3><p> <img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Fangqiong%20Ling.JPG?RenditionID=7" class="ms-rtePosition-2" rtenodeid="20" alt="" style="margin: 10px;"/><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Fangqiong-Ling.aspx" rtenodeid="18"><strong>Fangqiong Ling, assistant professor</strong></a></p><ul><li>PhD, MS, environmental engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign</li><li>BS, environmental engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing <br/></li></ul><p>Ling joins EECE from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she has been a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Biological Engineering. She received an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Microbiology of the Built Environment Postdoctoral Fellowship. <br/></p><p>Ling's research has employed genomics, machine learning and ecological theory to study microbial diversity and community assembly in aquatic ecosystems at the interface of natural and built environments, such as water infrastructure and aquifers. During her postdoc, she developed new genomic metrics for population census based on human microbiome data. She will lead a computational and experimental lab focused on understanding principles underlying biodiversity, functioning and resilience of microbial ecosystems relevant to sustainability and health, and develop methods to enable ecologically-informed engineering designs.<br/></p><p><br/></p><p> <img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Jian%20Wang%202018.jpg?RenditionID=7" class="ms-rtePosition-2" rtenodeid="23" alt="" style="margin: 10px;"/><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Jian-Wang.aspx" rtenodeid="21"><strong>Jian Wang, professor</strong></a> </p><ul><li>PhD, MS, chemical engineering, California Institute of Technology </li><li>BS, physical chemistry, University of Science and Technology of China <br/></li></ul><p>Wang joins EECE from Brookhaven National Laboratory, where he has been a scientist with tenure since 2010. He joined Brookhaven in 2002 as the Goldhaber Distinguished Fellow. He also was an affiliate faculty member in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University from 2005-2008 and was a visiting scientist at Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in the summer of 2016. He holds four U.S. Patents. <br/></p><p>Wang's research focuses on the processes that drive the properties and evolutions of atmospheric aerosols and the interactions between aerosols and clouds. His current research topics include aerosol properties and processes under natural conditions that were prevalent during pre-industrial era; nucleation and new particle formation; aerosols in the marine environment; effects of aerosols on cloud microphysical properties and macrophysical structure; and development of advanced aerosol instruments focusing on aircraft-based deployments.<br/></p><p><br/></p> <span><hr/></span> <h3>Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science </h3><p> <img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Jianjun%20Guan%20temp.jpg?RenditionID=7" class="ms-rtePosition-2" rtenodeid="26" alt="" style="margin: 10px;"/><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Jianjun-Guan.aspx" rtenodeid="24"><strong>Jianjun Guan, professor </strong></a> <br/></p><ul><li>PhD, chemistry, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China</li><li>BS, MS, polymer science and engineering, Qingdao University of Science and Technology, China <br/></li></ul><p>Guan comes to MEMS from The Ohio State University, where he has been a professor of materials science and engineering. He joined Ohio State in 2007 after serving as a research assistant professor at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, where he also a postdoctoral fellow and research associate. <br/></p><p>Guan's research interests are in biomimetic biomaterials synthesis and scaffold fabrication; bioinspired modification of biomaterials; injectable and highly flexible hydrogels; bioimageable polymers for MRI and EPR imaging and oxygen sensing; mathematical modeling of scaffold structural and mechanical properties; stem cell differentiation; neural stem cell transplantation for brain tissue regeneration; bone tissue engineering and cardiovascular tissue engineering.<br/></p><p><br/></p> <SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN> <br/><div class="cstm-section"><h3>Faculty by department<br/></h3><ul style="padding-left: 20px; color: #343434;"><li> <span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3;"><a href="">Biomedical Engineering</a></span><br/></li><li> <span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3;"><a href="">Computer Science & Engineering</a></span><br/></li><li> <span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3;"><a href="">Electrical & Systems Engineering</a></span><br/></li><li> <span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3;"><a href="">Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering</a></span><br/></li><li> <span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3;"><a href="">Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science​</a></span></li></ul></div>Beth Miller2018-07-18T05:00:00Z​A diverse group of new faculty joins the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, bringing the total number to 96.5 during the 2018-2019 academic year.<p>​A diverse group of new faculty joins the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, bringing the total number to 96.5 during the 2018-2019 academic year.<br/></p>,-nontoxic-materials-for-solar-cells-underway-at-WashU.aspx882New, nontoxic materials for solar cells underway at WashU<p>​A team of engineers is combining forces to create a safe, nontoxic and efficient material for solar cells.<br/></p><img alt="Solar panels" src="/news/PublishingImages/solar_iStock-652923692.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><p>In the past decade, researchers have used a new material made of lead-halide perovskites as the semiconducting absorber layer in solar cells. While these perovskites have dramatically increased solar cells' efficiency for converting solar energy to electricity, they not only contain toxic lead, but also are unstable in light, moisture and heat and breaks down in a matter of days, leaking lead into groundwater.</p><p>With a three-year, $480,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Rohan Mishra, assistant professor of mechanical engineering & materials science, and Pratim Biswas, assistant vice chancellor, the Lucy & Stanley Lopata Professor and chair of the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, at Washington University in St. Louis' School of Engineering & Applied Science are studying whether a nontoxic element — bismuth, lead's neighbor on the periodic table — is a safer and equally efficient substitute for lead in perovskites.</p><p>It's a big task: There are about 30,000 compounds of bismuth oxide perovskites that can be potentially synthesized, but only about 25 are experimentally known, Mishra said. </p><blockquote>Together, the two teams will use an efficient strategy of quantum-mechanical calculations, machine learning, data mining, state-of-the-art synthesis techniques and characterization to rapidly discover and optimize these new compounds.<br/></blockquote><p>"We will use quantum-mechanical calculations — performed on some of the world's most powerful supercomputers — and combine them with materials informatics to efficiently search through the 30,000 compounds and then suggest which of these could be stable and could be potentially useful for semiconducting applications," Mishra said.</p><p>Once his team makes its predictions and finds some candidates, Biswas' team takes on the challenging process of synthesizing them in the lab using an innovative, scalable electrospray technique that disperses the elements into a fine, uniform aerosol.</p><p>"The aerosol techniques allow us to make complex materials very easily," Biswas said. "I can tune my processing conditions very precisely to get the composition I want without having to go through trial and error. This electrospray process allows us to get them to be extremely stable with the desired crystal structures."</p><p>Much of this work has been done by doctoral students: Arashdeep Thind in Mishra's lab and Shalinee Kavadiya in Biswas' lab.</p><p>Once the thin films are created, Mishra's team will analyze them at the atomic scale using powerful electron microscopes at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.</p><p>"We see if the atoms are distributed the way we predicted or if they have defects or imperfections," Mishra said. "We take this information to make more accurate models for the quantum-mechanical calculations to see which defects are bad and which need to be mitigated, then take it back to Prof. Biswas' lab, where they develop new strategies to avoid the defects."</p><p>Ultimately, they would design materials that are tolerant of defects and still perform well. Biswas' team also will make some devices with solar cells based on these materials to demonstrate that they could be as good or better than existing materials, but easier to make, less expensive and much more stable.</p><p> </p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><p><br/></p><p><br/></p><div class="cstm-section"><h3>​Collabo​rators</h3><div style="text-align: center;"><div> <strong><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Pratim-Biswas.aspx"><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Biswas_Pratim.JPG?RenditionID=3" alt="Pratim Biswas" style="margin: 5px;"/></a> <br/><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Pratim-Biswas.aspx"><strong>Pratim Biswas</strong></a><br/></strong> </div><p>Assistant Vice Chancellor & Department Chair</p><p>Lucy & Stanley Lopata Professor</p><p>Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering</p></div><div style="text-align: center;"><div> <strong><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Srikanth-Singamaneni.aspx"><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Mishra_Rohan_03.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/></a>​​</strong> </div><p><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Rohan-Mishra.aspx"><strong>Rohan Mishra</strong></a></p><p>Assistant Professor</p><p>​Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science<br/></p></div></div>Beth Miller2018-06-11T05:00:00ZA team of engineers is working on an efficient and nontoxic material for solar cells using quantum-mechanical calculations. tools reveal prelude to chaos <div class="youtube-wrap"><div class="iframe-container"> <iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" src=""></iframe> <br/> <br/><br/></div></div><img alt="chaos abstract" src="/news/PublishingImages/chaos_iStock-898633556.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><p>​Picture a herd of sheep or cattle emerging from a shed or barn to graze a field. They head straight out of their digs to the pleasure of the pasture pretty much as one entity, but as the land opens up and the "grass gets greener" they disperse randomly in a motion that has neither rhyme nor reason. Individual animals depart at different angles from the herd and then at different angles from their original departure and so on until "the cows come home."</p><p>In physics, this movement that starts off on the straight- and -narrow (ballistic) and is correlated then dissolves into randomness (diffusive), uncorrelated, is called a ballistic-to-diffusive transition. Researchers in a number of fields call this motion a "random walk," also known as diffusive motion, a universal phenomenon that occurs in both physical (atomic-cluster diffusion, nanoparticle scattering and bacterial migration) and non-physical (animal foraging, stock price fluctuations, and "viral" Internet postings) systems.<br/></p><p>Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed mathematical tools that send that shot across the bow — they determine when randomness emerges in any stochastic (random) system, answering a long-standing question: When does randomness set in during a random walk?<br/></p><p>Led by Rajan K. Chakrabarty, assistant professor of energy, environmental & chemical engineering, the researchers have provided 11 equations that they applied to directional statistics. The resulting tools mathematically describe the kinetics in a system right before it dissolves into randomness as well as the walker's turning angle distribution. The tools have potential to be useful in predicting the onset of chaos in everything from nanoparticles to checking accounts.<br/></p><p>The research was published in a recent issue of <em>Physical Review E</em>.<br/></p><p>"We hope that we have shown a new starting point to investigate randomness," Chakrabarty said. </p><blockquote>"We are trying to describe an effect as exactly as possible irrespective of the cause. Now we can see the prelude to chaos so that people might have the ability to intervene and reverse a trend. From this point on, we hope to apply this mathematics to various systems and see how general our predictions are and what needs to be tweaked."<br/></blockquote><p>Chakrabarty, whose doctorate is in chemical physics, said that physicists normally solve problems by mathematically describing a cause and effect and marrying the two for a solution. But this new tool cares nothing about the cause, only about mathematically capturing the effect.<br/></p><p>Chakrabarty's graduate student, Pai Liu, produced eight of the 11 equations in the paper.<br/></p><p>"The research started with the goal of establishing a mathematical relationship to the behavior of chaotic motion," Liu said. "The equations have a significant time component. We think that we've come up with mathematical formulations, general in nature, that can be applied to any random motion to describe their transport properties and find the critical time step at which the transition from ballistic to diffusive takes place."<br/></p><p>Liu P, Heinson W, Sumlin B, Shen K-Y, Chakrabarty R. "Establishing the kinetics of ballistic-to-diffusive transition using directional statistics." Physical Review E, 97, 042102, April 4, 2018. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.97.042102.<br/></p><p>This research was funded by the National Science Foundation. <br/></p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><p><br/></p><p><br/></p><div><div class="cstm-section"><h3>Rajan Chakrabarty<br/></h3><div style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Rajan-Chakrabarty.aspx"><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Chakrabarty_Rajan.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/></a> <br/><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Rajan-Chakrabarty.aspx"><strong></strong></a></strong></div><div style="text-align: center;"><ul style="text-align: left;"><li>Assistant Professor of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering<br/></li><li>Expertise: <span style="font-size: 1em;">Atmospheric aerosols in Earth’s energy balance and aerosol formation in combustion systems toward synthesis of high porosity and surface-area materials for energy applications</span><br/></li></ul><p><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Rajan-Chakrabarty.aspx">View Bio</a><br/></p></div></div> ​​</div><p><br/></p>Tony Fitzpatrick2018-06-04T05:00:00ZEngineers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed tools that mathematically describe the kinetics in a system right before it dissolves into randomness. <p>​<span style="font-size: 20px;">Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed tools that mathematically describe the kinetics in a system right before it dissolves into randomness.</span><br/></p>Y's Blog: The Future of Energy<p>​Dean Aaron Bobick’s blog: The Observational Engineer<br/></p><img alt="coal plant" src="/news/PublishingImages/energy-iStock-184404565.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>This year, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences launched "Engineering the Future," a podcast in which we explore some of the world's most complex challenges and investigate how engineers are working to solve them. As host, I sit down with those engineers — many of them our talented faculty, students and alumni — for a deep dive into these global problems and solutions. In our first episode, I spoke with faculty members <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Vijay-Ramani.aspx">Vijay Ramani</a> and <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Richard-Axelbaum.aspx">Richard Axelbaum</a> about how their research advancements are shaping the future of energy worldwide. <br/></p><p>So what does the future have in store for us in regard to energy resources, consumption and technology?<br/></p><p>Our society is dependent on electricity and fuel for everything from refrigeration to transportation. The humanitarian disasters that ravaged the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean last year served as a stark reminder of this dependence. And to feed that dependence, our world still relies on easy, cheap access to fossil fuels and technologies that were first developed more than a century ago. <br/></p><p>But over the last several decades, we've come to understand the environmental and health impacts of the extensive use of combustion-based energy sources. </p><blockquote>The bottom line is that our energy sources and applications will truly disrupt the quality of life on earth if we don't find alternative solutions.<br/></blockquote><p>Today our critical infrastructure depends on reliable energy. While renewable energy technology has advanced significantly, at scale they do not approach the reliability we have come to expect. As a result, we are not going to stop burning fossil fuels anytime soon — both in the U.S. and worldwide. The energy requirements are too extensive, the deployed infrastructure is too expensive to replace quickly, and renewables are still a long way from providing the reliable, 24/7 energy needed at scale. When we consider countries like India or China, we know coal is going to be an important energy source for their growing economies, and these energy demands will exist regardless of consequence. <br/></p><p>The optimistic news is that researchers here at WashU and elsewhere are developing various innovations to help protect our health and environment amidst these realities. For example, flow batteries, which store electricity in chemical solutions while charging and release electricity, present new opportunities to improve storage for renewable energy resources. Advanced storage capabilities will enable governments and businesses to diversify their energy mix more effectively. Current research aims to make them more affordable and perform at grid-scale. Here at WashU, our faculty members are developing a new membrane that can be used in these batteries to increase versatility, while also lowering costs.<br/></p><p>Through an engineering lens, we can also think about coal as a resource and carbon burning differently. If you're not just producing electricity, but also producing carbon dioxide that is captured and put to use for other systems, you can leverage coal in a more environmentally efficient way. For example, WashU faculty have demonstrated that new technology can capture CO2 from power plants to be used for enhanced oil recovery and sequestered underground and out of the atmosphere.<br/></p><p>As engineers, our goal is to make sure the world has as many options as possible to dramatically impact the future of energy. <br/></p><p>To catch the full podcast episode, you can visit <a href="/news/Pages/Deans-Podcast-Engineering-the-Future.aspx?utm_source=WashUEngrNewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=feb18">this link</a>. In addition, subscribe to our podcast <a href="">on iTunes</a> to listen to future episodes.<br/></p><div class="cstm-section"><h3>New Blog: <br/>The Observational Engineer<br/></h3><div> <strong>>> Previous blog post: <a href="/news/Pages/Teaching-computing-to-all.aspx">Teaching Computing To All</a></strong><br/></div><div><br/></div><div style="text-align: center;"><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Bobick_Aaron.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/><br/></div><div> <br/> </div><div style="text-align: center;"> <strong>>> Meet Dean Bobick: </strong><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Aaron-Bobick.aspx">Bio</a></div><div> <b><br/></b></div></div> <br/> <div> <span> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Dean's Podcast: Engineering the Future<br/></h3><div> <a href="/news/Pages/Deans-Podcast-Engineering-the-Future.aspx"><img src="/news/PublishingImages/Future-of-Energy-news2.jpg?RenditionID=6" alt=""/><br/>Episode 1: The Future of Energy</a><br/></div> <a href="/news/Pages/Deans-Podcast-Engineering-the-Future.aspx"> </a></div></span> <a href="/news/Pages/Deans-Podcast-Engineering-the-Future.aspx"> <br/></a></div> <a href="/news/Pages/Deans-Podcast-Engineering-the-Future.aspx"></a>Aaron Bobick engineers, our goal is to make sure the world has as many options as possible to dramatically impact the future of energy.,-utilities-money,-effort.aspx871CyberPowered Home aims to save homeowners, utilities money, effort<img alt="CyberPowered Home prototype" src="/news/PublishingImages/CPH_Prototype2.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><p>Some say mom knows best. In the case of <a href="">CyberPowered Home</a>, a co-founder's mother sparked the idea two years ago that eventually led the team to win first place in the 2018 <a href="/current-students/outside-classroom/discovery-competition/Pages/default.aspx">Discovery Competition</a> in Washington University in St. Louis' School of Engineering & Applied Science and the 2018 <a href="">Skandalaris Cup</a>.<br/></p><p>Will Blanchard, who is graduating this month with a bachelor's degree in computer engineering and bachelor's degree in applied science in systems engineering, credits his mother with the initial idea for a product to help enable microgrids, local energy grids <g class="gr_ gr_59 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del" id="59" data-gr-id="59">than</g> can operate in isolation from the grid. Blanchard, CEO <g class="gr_ gr_66 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="66" data-gr-id="66">and</g> co-founder of CyberPowered Home, took the idea as fuel for thought, then collaborated with Engineering alumnus Allen Nikka late in 2017 to bring the idea into reality.<br/></p><p>Over the past two years, the team has developed a patented smart breaker box designed to automatically sense, interpret and act on information about electrical use in a home. Such a box could save homeowners up to 25 percent on energy costs, while also benefiting electric utilities by allowing them to better manage demand for energy and ultimately streamline costs.<br/></p><p>"We're living in the time of big data," said Nikka, who earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at WashU in 2017 and is a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles. "Other systems claim to use data to calibrate for users' needs, but their scope is too limited, or they quite simply don't. We're trying to bring real-world data to bear on real-world problems."<br/></p><div style="float: right; text-align: center; width: 230px; font-size: 0.9em; color: #555555; font-style: italic;"> <img src="/news/PublishingImages/willblanchard.jpg?RenditionID=7" alt="Will Blanchard" style="margin: 5px;"/><br/>Will Blanchard <br/><br/> <img src="/news/PublishingImages/Nikka,%20Allen.png?RenditionID=7" alt="Allen Nikka" style="margin: 5px;"/><br/>Allen Nikka</div><p>Blanchard and Nikka developed several prototypes of their smart breaker box, which includes their proprietary software and hardware, then handed it to Danny Andreev, the hardware engineer on the team who is a dual-degree student earning a bachelor's and <g class="gr_ gr_50 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="50" data-gr-id="50">master's</g> in electrical engineering. He earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Knox College in 2017.<br/></p><p>"The box reads the electrical use information, then we can understand which devices are being used in a home at any time, then draw inferences about what's happening in the home based on use or lack of use of devices," Blanchard said. "The core idea is bringing in the contextual data and understanding what's going on in the home with one device."<br/></p><p>With this contextual data, CyberPowered Home's product will, the team says, regulate appliances in the home to make homes more convenient and energy efficient for homeowners while offering residential demand management to utility companies.<br/></p><p>While smart thermostats, such as Nest, exist, Nikka said this product is unique.<br/></p><p>"No one is directly bridging the smart home and smart grid space using a combined software and hardware solution in the way that we are trying to do," he said. "We think that there's a lot of <g class="gr_ gr_52 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="52" data-gr-id="52">benefit</g> trying to play both sides as opposed to one or the other."<br/></p><p>This summer, the team will test the device and gather data from several homes' heating and air conditioning systems, which can be nearly half of a homeowner's energy costs.</p><p>"This is what will save people real money," Andreev said. "The HVAC is the first step, but we plan to extend its use beyond that."</p><p>In addition to the $25,000 prize from the 2018 Discovery Competition, the team won $4,000 in the 2018 Skandalaris Cup. It was runner-up for both of those competitions in 2017. Blanchard also was named the Skandalaris Center Student Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018.</p><p>The team is a finalist in the First Look West (FLOW) competition at CalTech taking place later this month, in the Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge, which is decided by public vote and for the 2018 Global Impact Award at WashU. It also was a finalist in the 2017 Clean Energy Trust Cleantech University Prize Award and the 2017 TigerLaunch competition in Chicago.<br/></p><p>Moving forward, Blanchard and Nikka plan to work on CyberPowered Home full-time while continuing to enter business competitions and to apply for accelerator programs.</p><p> </p> <SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN> <p> <br/> </p>A prototype of part of the patented smart breaker box developed by CyberPowered Home.Beth Miller 2018-05-15T05:00:00ZCyberPowered Home took the top prizes in the 2018 Discovery Competition and the Skandalaris Cup for its smart breaker box.<p><g class="gr_ gr_24 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="24" data-gr-id="24">Team</g> develops patented smart breaker box to sense, interpret and act on home electrical use information. <br/></p>