Research Magazine

Auburn Research
Spring/Summer 2022
Faculty Achievement Highlights
Dr. Imon Chakraborty

Dr. Imon Chakraborty

Dr. Imon Chakraborty, assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and director of the Vehicle Systems, Dynamics, and Design Laboratory, was recently awarded a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration for his study, “Flight Simulation-Driven Research into Simplified Vehicle Operations for Urban Air Mobility.“

The urban air mobility (UAM) concept of operations aims to field efficient electric vertical takeoff and landing (e-VTOL) aircraft to transport occupants quickly between intra-urban and possibly inter-urban locations. The FAA is interested in understanding the safety, certification and pilot-training impacts of UAM aircraft.

Brian Counterman

Dr. Brian Counterman

Dr. Brian Counterman, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, conducts research on the environment, genetics and mating preferences impacting the Dogface Butterfly. He is the recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award for $1,565,641 for “Physiological Genomics of Sexually Dimorphic Developmental Plasticity on Butterfly Wings.“

Dogface Butterflies are native to the Black Belt Prairie region and have areas on their wings with distinct pink, yellow and ultraviolet markings. Counterman’s research focuses on the genetics of plastic responses or plasticity, which is how the environment can influence their development.

Mona El-Sheikh

Dr. Mona El-Sheikh

Dr. Mona El-Sheikh, the Leonard Peterson & Co. Inc. Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, received continued funding of $564,836 from the National Institutes of Health for her multi-year project on family aggression and young adult health. Since 2019, funding for the project has totaled over $2.4 million.

Early findings reveal bioregulatory (sleep) and behavioral (physical activity) protective factors for youth who experience socioeconomic adversity. Recent analysis show the effects of family aggression on mental health depend in part on the bioregulatory functions of sleep. The project aims to advance understanding of associations between adolescent sleep and mental and physical health, and cognitive and academic functioning.

Jean Fantle-Lepczyk

Dr. Jean Fantle-Lepczyk

Dr. Jean Fantle-Lepczyk, a research professor in Auburn’s College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, has co-authored a study that found the economic costs of biological invasions in the U.S. have exceeded $1.2 trillion since 1960. The multinational study, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, was conducted with a team of seven scientists from the U.S., Germany, France, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.

Fantle-Lepczyk described invasive species as those that were moved by humans to a new ecosystem and have begun breeding outside the area to which they were initially introduced.

Desmond Layne

Dr. Desmond Layne

Dr. Desmond Layne, head of the Department of Horticulture, has been honored by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities for leading Auburn’s Transformation Garden project and his completion of the association’s Food Systems Leadership Institute.

Layne, a fellow in the institute, and 25 other fellows from across the country were recognized for contributions to their organizations, higher education and food systems during the association’s annual meeting.

Layne has led the creation and planning of Auburn’s 16-acre Transformation Garden. The project will encompass every aspect of plant-based agriculture, from fruits and vegetables to ornamentals to row crops and more.

Vrishank Raghav

Dr. Vrishank Raghav

Dr. Vrishank Raghav, an assistant professor and Ginn Faculty Achievement Fellow who directs the university’s applied fluids research group in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, has been named as a recipient of the 2022 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation.

Raghav’s CAREER Award, including $500,000 over five years, will provide support for his integrated research and educational activities on “Fluid-Structure Interactions in Pulsatile Flow.“ Through the research, Raghav will learn how pulsating blood flow impacts heart valve leaflets and demonstrate how this accelerates wear and tear on replacement devices.

Umberto Saetti

Dr. Umberto Saetti

Dr. Umberto Saetti, an assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, was recently granted a $510,000 Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research for his upcoming helicopter study modeling and simulating rotor downwash to help develop safer helicopter landings at sea.

The purpose of the project is to find solutions that will preserve human life and prevent millions of dollars in aircraft from being destroyed. Saetti is no stranger to helicopter research for the U.S. military. His study, “State-Variable Implementation and Linearization of Simulations with Multi-Disciplinary Aeromechanics,“ with the Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence, earned a five-year, $571,000 contract in 2021.

Jin Wang

Dr. Jin Wang

Dr. Jin Wang, the Walt and Virginia Woltosz Professor in Auburn’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, has been named a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors.

Wang’s research innovations center around effectively converting waste into value-added products. Throughout her academic career, Wang’s expertise in biogas conversion and sustainable food production have earned her national and international recognition, and her technological innovations have resulted in numerous patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Adrienne Wilson

Adrienne Wilson

Adrienne Wilson, associate professor of theatre and dance, was recently elected as the south regional director on the American College Dance Association Board of Directors. Her term will extend from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2025.

Wilson teaches dance courses based in modern/contemporary technique, rhythm tap and movement analysis by conceptually blending in elements of dance history, composition, improvisation, anatomy and kinesiology. She also choreographs and directs the annual student dance concert, coaches movement for actors, choreographs for theatre productions, and teaches music theory fundamentals and piano skills for the music theatre performance major.

Last updated: June 03, 2022