School of Engineering awarded $51,000 for applied aerospace research

Two University of Bridgeport (UB) faculty members and four undergraduate students from the School of Engineering have been awarded funds from the Connecticut Space Grant Consortium to further their various work in applied aerospace research.

“We are thankful and thrilled that our faculty and UB students have received these awards through the Connecticut Space Grant Consortium,” said Dr. Jani Macari Pallis, a professor in the School of Engineering and UB’s representative to the Connecticut Space Grant Consortium. “This support will truly assist our faculty and students in pursuing real-world applications related to NASA’s mission.”

Dr. Zheng “Jeremy” Li, an associate professor in Mechanical Engineering, was awarded $20,000 for a “Computer-Aided Analysis and Experimental Study of Nano-Coating Technology Applied to NASA and the US Aerospace Industry.” The research will assist the design of more durable, energy-saving products while making them lighter in weight, safer in flight, higher in efficiency, and more reliable in performance. This research will also seek to determine which critical parameters in nanocoating processes should be controlled to improve manufacturing efficiency and product quality.

Dr. Hassan Bajwa, an assistant professor in Electrical Engineering, was awarded $11,000 for “Nanoscale Antenna for In-Space Power Harvesting Application.” The proposed interdisciplinary research addresses both fundamental issues in material science, nanostructures, and soft electronics, and plans to fabricate DNA- scaffold-based nanoscale-antennas.

Matthew Breland, a computer engineering major, was awarded a $5,000 fellowship. He and Dr. Bajwa, his faculty adviser, are working on a project entitled, “High-Efficiency Broadband Solar Cell for Aerospace Applications.” The research aims to develop an antenna for power-harvesting applications.

Jean Armatis, a computer engineering major, was awarded a $5,000 fellowship. He and Dr. Bajwa, who also is his research adviser, will be working on an “Extension of an Information Power Grid Using Cloud Computing.” The objective of the project is to develop a test bed for next-generation computational tools.

Sarah Michels, who is majoring in computer science, was awarded $5,000. She and her faculty advisors, Dr. Miad Faezipour (Computer Science and Computer Engineering) and Dr. Prabir Patra (Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering) will be “Identifying Breathing Movements to Aid Breath Regulation.” The study aims to integrate breathing movement classifications with lung capacity estimation in a customized real-time platform to assist individuals to regulate their breath in harsh breathing conditions such as aerospace environments.

Yazan Lpizra, who is majoring in computer science, was awarded a $5,000 directed scholarship. He and his research advisers, Drs. Patra Faezipour, will study “Graphene-Polymer Self Assembled Multifunctional Aerospace Nanocomposites.” The research aims to use a simple and efficient layer by layer process for the formation of chemically converted graphene nanocomposite materials for aerospace applications.

Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625,