Office of Research April 2022 Update

April 4, 2022

See whose work is getting funded, learn about new grant opportunities, and find resources that can help further your research.

External Awards Received

The Office of Research is pleased to announce and would like to congratulate these faculty members on receipt of the following external funding:

Mengqi Wang, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was awarded $163,934 from Broad Ocean Technologies for her project entitled High efficiency and high power density traction inverter development.” This project will support efforts for the transition to electric-powered transportation, which will require innovative technology to manage electric power, particularly in battery chargers and electric drive inverters. Traditional devices are limited in their ability to enable power converters to effectively meet performance standards. This project will improve an existing design of a DC/DC converter and develop a traction inverter using hybrid devices with materials that allow operation at higher voltages, frequencies and temperatures than conventional devices. Such devices are essential to realizing the revolution in automotive power electronics. Co-PI: Wencong Su (ECE).

Lei Chen, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, received $100,276 from General Motors for his project Computational assessment of the risk of Li dendrite-induced thermal runaway.” Lithium (Li) ion batteries in automotive applications have stringent technical requirements such as energy density, lifespan, temperature range, etc. Novel materials are being used to achieve these targets, however metallic microstructures (Li dendrites) can form during battery charging and potentially induce a chemical reaction that results in uncontrolled heating (thermal runaway.) This project aims to develop a computational framework to assess the risk of thermal runaway due to Li dendrite growth.

Shan Bao, Associate Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, received $288,318 from Toyota Motor Corporation’s Collaborative Safety Research Center for her project “A Data-driven Approach on Examining Vulnerable Road User (VRU) Safety: from Real-world Corner Cases to Virtual Simulation.” Bao and her team will be working to improve the ability of automated vehicles (AVs) to understand and predict the behaviors of pedestrians and bicyclists in various scenarios so that they can react and interact as safely as possible. Co-PIs: Fred Feng (IMSE), Feng Zhou (IMSE), and Brian Lin (UMTRI, Ann Arbor)

Wencong Su, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was awarded $108,702 by the DTE E-Challenge grant program for his project “Improving Energy Efficiency in Campus Buildings using Artificial Intelligence and Multi-source Data Fusion.”  This energy efficiency project will turn UM-Dearborn’s new Engineering Lab Building (ELB) into a building-sized laboratory while working to reduce energy loss. Su and his team will implement a variety of sensors to make the building smarter, in conjunction with strategies to motivate building users to reduce energy use. Co-PIs: Junho Hong, (ECE) and Antonios Koumpias (Social Sciences.)


UM-Dearborn UM-Flint Collaborative Research Funding Applications Due April 25 by 5 p.m.

A new collaborative research initiative supported by Chancellor Grasso and Chancellor Dutta and hosted by the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Office of Research and the University of Michigan-Flint’s Office of Research and Economic Development started in January and has concluded the four networking events. Teams led by PIs from both campuses (one PI from Dearborn and one PI from Flint) can apply for collaborative research grants ranging from $20,000 to $40,000 until April 25, 2022 at 5 p.m. The award criteria will focus on developing cross-campus research collaborations with potential for external funding. Applications for the UM-Dearborn – UM-Flint Collaborative Research Grants can be submitted online.

Recordings of Networking Events:

(NOTE: available only to U-M community & requires log in with U-M credentials)

Contact Cards of Dearborn and Flint faculty who have registered previously are available to view now. If you need to update your registration or contact card, you can do so via the link provided in your original confirmation email, or email [email protected] for assistance. Faculty may still Submit a Contact Card if interested in collaborating.

OVPR Anti-Racism Grants Open for Submissions

OVPR's Research Catalyst & Innovation (RCI) Theme Grants program has launched a new round of Anti-Racism Grants. Applications for this round are due June 1. These awards aim to catalyze innovative research and scholarship that will advance knowledge and understanding around complex societal racial inequalities that can inform actions to achieve equity and justice.

These grants were developed in partnership with the Provost’s Anti-Racism Initiative and are jointly administered in partnership with the National Center for Institutional Diversity’s Anti-Racism Collaborative. The Anti-Racism Grants program will fund up to seven proposalsfive at levels up to $50,000 and two at levels up to $100,000.

Upcoming Research Events in April

  • Office of the Provost Event “Engaged Scholarship Showcase” - April 8, 2022, 12:30-4:30 p.m.
  • U-M Library Workshop “Managing Your Online Researcher Identity” - April 21, 2022, 1-2 p.m.

More events and announcements can be found on the UM-Dearborn Office of Research website. For regular updates and research announcements, subscribe to our Research News email list!

Resources and Tools for Researchers

Every month, the Office of Research will feature a resource and/or tool that is available for researchers!

This month we are featuring the recently expanded Consultation and Writing Services provided through the Office of Research by a third-party consulting company.

An updated and expanded list of consultation and writing services is now available to view on the Office of Research website. Services are intended to strengthen research proposals and documents and are free to all UM-Dearborn faculty. Please note services may require an application, have limitations and time requirements in order to be provided. Services now include:

  • Proposal Content Review: The review is designed to identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas requiring improvement or clarification with a focus on the alignment with the funding opportunity and the funder’s priorities.
  • Copy Edit/Proofreading: The edit will identify any typos, errors or other items that need correction.
  • Graphic Design: The graphic designer will work on images or graphics that require edits, redesign or creation. (Limited to graphics for proposals submitted to external funders).
  • Professional Writer (limited availability, approval required): If approved, the professional writer will work collaboratively with a PI and team to write the project description/narrative with consideration of the funder’s requirements. (Limited service, requires application for prior approval).
  • Coach: The team will receive guidance, support and feedback on general proposal questions or drafts of the proposal components and will create them on their own. 

For detailed information, service terms and minimum time requirements, please review the service descriptions on our Consultation and Writing Services page.

Reminders and Updates

U-M OVPR Pandemic Relief Program

The U-M OVPR offers flexible relief funds that support research-focused faculty at the early associate and assistant ranks whose research activity continues to be significantly impacted by the pandemic. A simple one-page form can support $3,000 for eligible assistant professors and up to $15,000 for eligible associate professors. The OVPR program is open to faculty on all three U-M campuses that meet eligibility criteria. Applications will be accepted via InfoReady. Learn more information and how to apply on the OVPR Pandemic Relief Program website.

Upcoming Funding Opportunities

The Office of Research publishes a list of selected funding opportunities, organized by college, every month on our website under Announcements. Contact the UM-Dearborn Office of Research if you would like more information about submitting a proposal to any of the programs.