Bright minds, smart cities

Bright minds, smart cities

Growing urbanization requires innovative approaches to infrastructure — and researchers like UNT assistant professor of information science Habib Abdulrahman are heeding the call. Knowing that there was more than just technology behind autonomous vehicles, the UNT at Frisco-based researcher began collecting data on how residents might react to potential deployment of futuristic fleets and suggesting ways for the city of Denton to improve everything from weather monitoring to non-emergency reporting.

Collaboration Spotlight
ARL Drone groupUNT hosts delegation from Chile

UNT celebrated with its Chilean partners the international launch of Chile's Sub-Antarctic Cape Horn Center that will tackle biodiversity responses to climate change in that region. As part of its long-standing leadership of the Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program, in October UNT hosted a delegation from Chile as part of the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program. As the Department of State's premier professional exchange program, current and emerging foreign leaders participate in short-term visits to the U.S. related to their field of interest.

Photo by Paola Vazzani

Research News
Increasing diversity and inclusivity in STEM
Increasing diversity and inclusivity in STEM

In an effort to support an increasingly diverse student population, UNT is working with 20 universities nationwide to develop faculty recruitment, hiring and retention practices specifically for underrepresented populations in STEM fields and empower faculty in providing inclusive teaching practices. As a part of Aspire: National Alliance for Inclusive and Diverse STEM Faculty, UNT will develop and implement campus action plans to drive change and scale efforts across all STEM programs.

Engineering faculty Wonbong Choi and Gayatri Mehta
Developing an internal sensor for knee replacement surgeries

Engineering faculty Wonbong Choi and Gayatri Mehta are developing a wireless sensor system for use in rebuilding and balancing the human knee. The system would give doctors real-time information on a patient's joint pressure during and after total knee arthroplasty. The team received a $150,000 Early-Concepts Grant for Exploratory Research from the National Science Foundation for their project, which has a secondary goal of increasing the participation and retention of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM research.

Haifeng Zhang
Developing next generation of nuclear power plant sensors

Haifeng Zhang, associate professor of mechanical and energy engineering, together with researchers in the Pacific Northwest National Lab, earned a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to work on a solution for what he believes is a critical sensor problem in nuclear power plants. Zhang's sensors will couple light and sound waves to measure different physical parameters in the very harsh environment of a reactor's core. The sensors should last longer and be easier to replace, increasing safety and operating margins and enhancing the long-term viability and economic competitiveness of power plants.

Daniel Alemneh
College of Information Fulbright Scholars

UNT's College of Information boasts three Fulbright Scholars this fall. UNT Libraries staff member Daniel Alemneh is working in Ethiopia as a Fulbright Scholar to support local universities and organizations in developing digital libraries. Ethiopia has a rich history that has not been well recorded digitally, and Alemneh is helping to bridge that gap. After graduating with bachelor's degrees in linguistics from UNT last spring, alumni Madison Muniz and Kristen Acker earned Fulbright scholarships to serve as teaching assistants in Europe this fall helping students learn English. Muniz is teaching in Greece, and Acker is teaching in Germany.

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