College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences; Research

Four new projects underscore strength of research environment in College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences


CLEMSON — Four Clemson University researchers are bringing home some of the nation’s top awards for junior faculty members, an honor that comes with new opportunities to advance technology that could lead to a more sustainable environment, robotic cars and a faster, more-secure internet.

Eric Davis, Hongxin Hu and Yunyi Jia are winning CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation, while Judson Ryckman is receiving an award from the U.S. Air Force’s Young Investigator Program.

The 2018-19 early-career award winners are (from left) Eric Davis, Hongxin Hu, Judson Ryckman and Yunyi Jia.
The 2018-19 early-career award winners are (from left) Eric Davis, Hongxin Hu, Judson Ryckman and Yunyi Jia.

The awards are reserved for early-career faculty members and are celebrated in higher education because they are widely regarded as a sign that the recipients are on the path to successful careers.

For undergraduate and graduate students, the awards provide new opportunities to conduct research on the cutting-edge of technology.

Anand Gramopadhye, the dean of the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, said the awards affirm that the college is attracting some of the world’s top junior faculty members and that they are flourishing when they arrive on campus.

“These four awards underscore that the college’s research environment remains strong and continues to grow,” Gramopadhye said. “I congratulate Drs. Davis, Hu, Jia and Ryckman. Their awards serve as a testament to their hard work, creativity and ability, while confirming they are among the nation’s top assistant professors. Their research gives our students a chance to work on the cutting-edge of technology.”

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All the winners announced today received notice of their awards during the fall or spring semester of the 2018-19 academic year.

Below is a quick look at each winner. Click their names to learn more about their research.

Eric Davis, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. Davis and his team are researching new materials aimed at reducing the cost of large-scale energy storage technologies, such as redox flow batteries. Their success could mean that utilities would be able to introduce more renewable energy to the electrical grid and reduce the amount of fossil fuel that needs to be burned.

Hongxin Hu, assistant professor and Dean’s Faculty Fellow of computer science. The Hu team is developing new security functions to protect computer networks from attacks. The new security functions include a virtual intrusion detection system that would detect attacks and a virtual firewall system that would repel them.

Yunyi Jia, assistant professor of automotive engineering. Jia and his team are studying what it will take to make people more comfortable with robots, including autonomous vehicles that drive themselves and collaborative robots involved in advanced manufacturing. He plans to disseminate his findings to companies so they can improve their products or manufacturing processes.

Judson Ryckman, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. His team is working to create smaller and more efficient photonic devices. The research could lead to improvements in a wide range of industries and products, including faster internet downloads and self-driving cars better equipped to navigate city streets.


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