SEAS research teams chosen for new Boost program
The Bold Challenges Initiative has selected eight interdisciplinary teams, including three whose members are from the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), from across the University of Michigan to participate in the first cycle of its newly launched Boost program.
The Boost program supports new and early-stage multidisciplinary teams whose ambitious, transdisciplinary projects have substantial potential for significant large-scale funding.
This year’s teams are working on a range of topics including new approaches to supply the critical minerals needed in electric vehicle manufacturing and mitigating the aviation industry’s environmental impact.
Bold Challenges was designed by the Office of the Vice President for Research to increase U-M’s capacity to conduct large-scale and highly impactful interdisciplinary research. It is a key component of President Santa J. Ono’s universitywide Strategy to Amplify Research and Scholarship.
Unlike classic pilot funding programs, interdisciplinary teams that are part of the Boost program receive dedicated, expert support on topics like team building, effective communication for large-team science and a wide range of facilitation and ideation support for highly competitive grant proposals.
Each team also receives $75,000 for activities that strengthen its capacity to conduct groundbreaking research and better position its work for future proposals from organizations like the National Institutes for Health and National Science Foundation. Funding can be used to purchase materials, conduct tests and hire undergraduate and graduate researchers.
The Boost teams with SEAS members and their topic areas for the 2023-24 academic year are:
Critical Minerals for Electric Vehicles and Decarbonization: Sustainable and Environmentally-Just Supply Chains
- Joshua Newell, professor of environment and sustainability, School for Environment and Sustainability
- Rebecca Hardin, associate professor of natural resources, SEAS
- Anna Stefanopoulou, professor of mechanical engineering, William Clay Ford Professor of Technology, College of Engineering
- Adam Simon, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor; professor of earth and environmental sciences, LSA; professor of Program in the Environment, LSA and SEAS
- Kyle Whyte, University, Diversity and Social Transformation Professor; George Willis Pack Professor and professor of environment and sustainability, SEAS; and professor of philosophy, LSA
Advancing Battery-less Sensing for Sustainable Living and Civil Infrastructures
- Albert Liu, assistant professor of chemical engineering, of materials science and engineering, and of macromolecular science and engineering, CoE
- Aline Eid, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science, CoE
- Abdallah Chehade, assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering, UM-Dearborn, CECS
- Brendan O’Neill, assistant research scientist, SEAS
Biotechnology-Enabled Circular Economy Strategies for Equitable and Community-Focused Sustainable Infrastructure
- Steven Skerlos, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor; professor of mechanical engineering and of civil and environmental engineering, CoE
- Arun Agrawal, Samuel Trask Dana Professor, professor of environment and sustainability, SEAS; professor of political science, LSA; and professor of public policy, Ford School
- Shanna Daly, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor; associate professor of mechanical engineering, CoE
- Lutgarde Raskin, Vernon L. Snoeyink Distinguished University Professor; Altarum/Erim Russell O’Neal Professor of Engineering and professor of civil and environmental engineering, CoE
- Sita Syal, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, CoE