Stellar Year for UB Space Grant Winners

Stellar Year for UB Space Grant Winners

Four University of Bridgeport faculty members and two students have been awarded approximately $40,000 from the Connecticut Space Grant College Consortium to further their work in support of NASA’s mission.

Dr. Abdelshakour Abuzneid, associate professor of Computer Science and Engineering, was awarded a Faculty Research Grant of $10,000 for “Computer-Aided Simulator and Benchmark Testbed for the Internet of WSNs Using Satellite Link Communications.” The Internet of Wireless Sensor Networks (IoWSN) consists of many sensors and collects data from remote areas, which are used to help science labs located in space. The contributions of this research will include the implementation of an application to integrate space station and satellites to control the IoWSN efficiently. In addition to Dr. Abuzneid, Dr. Miad Faezipour serves as co-principal investigator.

Dr. Nancy DeJarnette, associate professor of Teacher Education, was awarded a $4,000 STEM Education Research Grant for a “Children’s Engineering K-5 Initiative.” The project explores if the rate of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) implementation will increase and become a permanent fixture within the classroom curriculum through professional development, resources, and consistent support for K-8 teachers. Working directly with an urban high-needs K-8 school, the initiative provides professional development and consistent in-class support for STEAM implementation with a NASA space focus.

Dr. Ryan McCulloch, assistant professor of mathematics, was awarded a $10,000 STEM Education Programming Grant to develop and offer two Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) K-12 Engineering Design and Earth and Space Science Workshops. With a primary focus on K-12 teachers who work in the cities of Bridgeport and Hartford, teachers are provided professional development on the newly adopted NGSS as well as ways to incorporate engineering design and earth and space science into their science curriculum. The workshop curriculum will also be available online through University of Bridgeport’s Global Learning Initiatives.

Dr. Xingguo “Michael” Xiong, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, was also awarded a Faculty Research Grant of $10,000 for “Balloon/Drone-based Aerial Platforms for Remote Particulate Matter Pollutant Monitoring.” Detailed data about distribution of Particulate Matter (PM) pollutants and their diffusion are essential to evaluate their effects on human healthand environment. This research aims at developing balloon and drone based aerial platforms for remote PM pollutant monitoring. Compared to ground-mounted PM sensors, balloon/drone based aerial platforms cover much wider areas with better flexibility.  They can monitor remote, dangerous or difficult-to-access locations.

Ervin Lara, a freshman in electrical engineering, received a $5,000 scholarship. Lara is a first-generation college student who developed his Space Grant application as part of a writing assignment in his introduction to engineering class.

Gukyoung An, a junior in Computer Science, received a $429 project grant for materials to build his School of Engineering team’s payload as UB advances to its fourth international CanSat (small satellite) competition this summer in Texas.

“We are once again grateful to the Connecticut Space Grant College Consortium’s continued sponsorship of UB student and faculty research in support of NASA’s mission,” said Dr. Jani Macari Pallis, UB’s Space Grant director.

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