The Research & Innovation Office Faculty Fellows program supports rising faculty who are interested in furthering their leadership skills to achieve maximum societal impact within the university and beyond. We asked this year’s Faculty Fellows how they see their research, scholarship or creative work ultimately pioneering new paths forward or changing the world for the better.
Assistant Professor, Biochemistry; RASEI
My research aims to better understand fundamental mechanisms and improve the efficiency of photosynthesis and biological carbon-fixation, ultimately providing more sustainable energy alternatives for the global community.
Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies
My community-based work as an Indigenous social scientist strives to help the Cherokee people perpetuate our environmental knowledge and protect our lands for the well-being of future generations.
Assistant Professor, Anthropology
My research investigates everyday ethical and practical challenges of personal data, digital technology and scientific innovation to better align what privacy means to people with the policies intended to protect them.
Associate Professor, Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences
My research on data-driven modeling and uncertainty quantification will ultimately help engineers build safer and more reliable products.
Assistant Professor, Cinema Studies; Critical Media Practices
My work bolsters collaboration between scientists and artists, enabling them to create work that moves, inspires and enriches people’s lives—especially in times of global, ecological upheaval.
Associate Professor, Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering
My work in optics will improve our understanding of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, as well as help develop technology to enable the next generation of chip-scale devices for enhanced applications in sensing, communications and networking.
Assistant Professor, Computer Science
We still rarely see autonomous robots outside of highly controlled labs. My work enabling machines to understand their environment will help autonomous platforms operate in the diverse, challenging conditions of the real world.
Assistant Professor, History
My work on the trans-Atlantic slave trade and its abolition informs our understanding of the global impact of Africa to combat persistent ideologies of racism and discrimination.
Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
My ecological research broadens our understanding of how animals, microbes and pathogens interact in a changing world and explores new approaches we can use to protect biodiversity.
Professor, Sociology; Director, Natural Hazards Center; Institute of Behavioral Science
My research on children, schools and disasters will help ensure that young people have a voice in environmental matters that affect their lives and equal opportunities to learn and thrive.
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
My research in medical devices and surgical robotics is focused on improving the quality of life for patients by enabling individualized patient care and ultimately less invasive procedures.
L. Kaifa Roland
Associate Professor, Anthropology
My research among black women entrepreneurs in Cuba’s growing tourism economy during the post-Castro era explores how a traditionally marginalized group maximizes available resources when socialism and capitalism intersect.
R. Benjamin Shapiro
Assistant Professor, Computer Science
My work will help youth, teachers and artists of all ages create computational systems to explore their curiosities, understand the world and express their creative visions.
Wil V. Srubar III
Assistant Professor, Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering Program
My work will lead to more sustainable and resilient communities by integrating biology with polymer and cement chemistry to create new biomimetic and bioinspired materials for the built environment.