2017 TEES Annual Research Conference Collaboration Award Winners

At the 2017 TEES Annual Research Conference, researchers came together to create 18 multi-institution collaborations and pitched them to a panel of judges at the end of the conference. TEES awarded $20,000 for the first place collaboration and provided $2,500 in seed funding to each of the additional 17 collaborations.

$20,000 Award:


CHIME: Continuous Health Intervention and Monitoring for the Elderly
Principal Investigator: Justin Foreman, Prairie View A&M University
Team Members: Farzan Sasangohar, Texas A&M University & Austin Riddle, TEES Texas Center for Applied Technology

Continuous Health Intervention and Monitoring for the Elderly (CHIME) provides real-time healthcare sensor feedback for single patient health and provides a picture of overall health for patients in elderly communities. With CHIME, these communities will better mitigate disease propagation, degeneration, and mortality in their residents.

$2,500 Awards
(sorted by TEES thematic areas):

Cybersecurity     Energy     Healthcare     Information Systems & Sensors     Materials & Manufacturing

TEES Research Awards


Big Data Analytics for Cloud Computing Security
Principal Investigator: Sarhan Musa, Prairie View A&M University 
Team Members: Keith Biggers, TEES Texas Center for Applied Technology; Siew Koay, Prairie View A&M University; Lin Li, Prairie View A&M University; Na Li, Prairie View A&M University & Akinwale Oteniya, Prairie View University

This project will use big data analytics to solve cloud computing security for service providers, businesses, and government.

Protecting Cyber-Physical Systems in Water Networks
Principal Investigator: Shumon Alam, Prairie View A&M University
Team Members: Paul A. Potier, Prairie View A&M University & Rudoli H. Rosen, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Industrial control systems (ICS) are vital for various industries such as the electric, water, oil and natural gas, chemical, manufacturing, postal service, air traffic and many U.S. critical infrastructures. ICS systems generally include Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), Distributed Control System (DCS) and Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). The world is now connecting everything to the internet and that is where the cyber threat in ICS could jeopardize industrial operations, safety, and stability. This project will look into the water network system where ICS/SCADA are used for water management/distribution and analyze the risk of cyber threats for its cyber‐physical system and find possible solutions in terms of network intrusion detection and prevention systems.

Training for Underserved Cyber Professionals
Principal Investigator: David Abarca, Del Mar College 
Team Members: Kiran Bellam, Prairie View A&M University; Emmanuel Okereke, Prairie View A&M University; Dan Ragsdale, Texas A&M Cybersecurity Center & Lucas Tyler, Hanover Research

This project will create industry-focused continuing education opportunities to improve analysis, response, and remediation for cybersecurity professional by addressing ongoing and emerging threats using low- and no-cost capabilities.


CHP for Distributed Generation
Principal Investigator: Dervis Emre Demirocak, Texas A&M University-Kingsville 
Team Member: Huseyin Bostanci, University of North Texas

This project will enable on‐site, highly efficient, and resilient/distributed power generation, heating, and cooling.

FEW Technology Development and Outreach
Principal Investigator: Lucy Mar Camacho, Texas A&M University-Kingsville 
Team Member: Ben Jang, Texas A&M University-Commerce

Focusing on the Food-Water-Energy (FEW) nexus, team members will conduct research to help augment water for food production, water for energy production, and energy for water and food production. As an interdisciplinary team we will combine science, engineering, and modeling tools to identify, develop, and implement technologies for the FEW nexus. Interinstitutional capabilities such as an outreach mechanism to disseminate knowledge about the FEW nexus will be used.

Offshore Wind Energy
Principal Investigator: Doeun Choe, Prairie View A&M University 
Team Members: Neal Byron, West Texas A&M University; Ziaul Huque, Prairie View A&M University; M. H. Kim, Texas A&M University & Selahattin (Sel) Ozcelik, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

The project will increase the feasibility of Floating Offshore Wind Turbines (FOWT) by improving the related technologies and reliabilities of the costly option of current FOWT. Developing areas for the project include: wind blades optimization and validation, FOWT design, FOWT control, FOWT health monitoring, FOWT structural safety, reliability and weight reduction, and life-cycle risk analysis and cost reduction.

Renewable Energy for DeSal
Principal Investigator: Bill Worek, Texas A&M University-Kingsville 
Team Members: Matthew Alexander, Texas A&M University-Kingsville; Nael Barakat, Texas A&M University-Kingsville; Lucy Camacho, Texas A&M University-Kingsville; Ashkan Haghshenas, Texas A&M International; Ben Jang, Texas A&M University-Commerce; Andrea Kishne, TEES Smart Grid Center; Raghava Kommalapati, Prairie View A&M University; Jeff Sammons, Texas A&M Energy Institute & Safwat Shakin, Prairie View A&M University 

The scope of this project is the investigation, development, integration, and management of intelligent, sensitive, secure, and sustainable energy/water systems. The project proposes holistic and system‐level design/development of methodology for new integrated systems or an integration methodology for existing systems that optimize complex energy/water systems.


Brain Injury from Trauma Monitoring and Analysis Program (BITMAP)
Principal Investigator: Seungchan Kim, Prairie View A&M University 
Team Members: Jianping Hua, Texas A&M University; Christopher Kocmoud, Texas A&M University & Carolyn Skurla, Baylor University

This is a longitudinal study of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in football players to detect, transmit, and analyze spatial and temporal data of impacts to the head. The team will collect various sensor data and combine them with molecular profiling data such as exosome transcriptomic profiles from urine samples, cognitive data, fMRI, and gait analysis to identify molecular markers to predict traumatic brain damage. The team also will look into collegiate football programs for collaboration as well as other head injury prone activities such as sport biking and motorcycles.

Personalized Culturally Appropriate Nutrition Education Apps in Clinical Settings
Principal Investigator: Andrea McDonald, Prairie View A&M University
Team Members: Olivia Johnson, Prairie View A&M University; Christopher Kocmoud, Texas A&M University; King-Ip (David) Lin, Baylor University & Shannon Ydoyaga, Del Mar College

The project goal is to develop personalized, culturally appropriate nutrition education apps for maternal mothers to combat childhood obesity.

Robotic Exoskeleton for Upper Extremity Rehabilitation for Stroke Patients
Principal Investigator: Yueqing Li, Lamar University
Team Members: Donald Peterson, Texas A&M University & Neil Petroff, Tarleton State University

The project will develop an advanced upper extremity rehabilitation robotics exoskeleton for stroke patients. The system will be controlled by EEG, EMG, and/or muscle and can provide an adaptive rehabilitation strategy.

Scale-Up of Stem Cells for Workforce Training
Principal Investigator: Susan Woodard, National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing (NCTM), Texas A&M University & TEES 
Team Members: Felipe Nicolau, NCTM & Carole Twichell, Collin College, Plano

Stem cell‐based therapies are being developed to treat many different conditions. Stem cells present a challenge from a regulatory standpoint where the cell is the product. A number of different assays are required to establish the efficacy and safety of stem cell products. In order for the use of stem cells to become mainstream, there needs to be a trained workforce who knows how to grow, expand and assess the quality of the various biotherapeutics derived from stem cells. The overarching goal of this project is to develop training curricula geared toward the technicians and scientists that will be needed to support this manufacturing sector. Having workers trained in stem cell handling and quality control (QC) testing will help make the US (and Texas) competitive in this emerging industry.

Information Systems & Sensors

Fire Busters
Principal Investigator: Burchan Aydin, Texas A&M University-Commerce
Team Members: Mohan Kekar
, Prairie View A&M University; Michael Starek, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi; Jian Tao, Texas A&M High Performance Research Computing, TEES; & the City of Commerce Firefighting Department

The project's primary motivation is to decrease fatality rates of firefighters and fire victims. The secondary motivation is to decrease the economic loss from building fires. Interconnected technologies, known collectively as cyberphysical systems, can be harnessed to greatly improve fire‐protection and fire‐fighting capabilities. Team members will build a fire fighting UAV that can actively shoot fire extinguishing balls through windows and alike with an embedded data processing unit to enable self‐guidance. Augmented reality and various sensors will be utilized.

Multi Agent Precision Agriculture Monitoring (MAPAM)
Principal Investigator: Jinha Jung, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi 
Team Members: Suxia Cui, Prairie View A&M University; Dilma DaSilva, Texas A&M University; Jonda Halcomb, Del Mar College; &  Scott King, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

This project will focus on developing a multi agent (unmanned aerial system + unmanned ground system) precision agriculture monitoring system that can early detect specific problems such as diseases and water/nutrient deficiency so that growers can take appropriate actions to attack sources of the issues.

Real-Time Extreme Event Multi-Platform Sensing for Flood Management in River Systems and Roads
Principal Investigator: Emmanuel Nzewi, Prairie View A&M University
Team Members: Ali Fares, Prairie View A&M University; Yonggao Yang, Prairie View A&M University; & Hua Zhang, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

This project uses of multi-platform technologies, data analysis, real-time visualization and mapping in the modeling of river systems and urban watersheds to develop technologies and systems to minimize the impact of extreme rainfall events. It will also develop and implement technologies for minimizing the disruption due to extreme events, loss of property and lives. The proposed integrated system will also seek to maximize the resiliency of reservoir and roadway systems in urban watersheds under climate change/variation scenarios.

Materials & Manufacturing

Embedded RFID Sensing in the Human Body
Principal Investigator: Billy Gray, Tarleton State University
Team Members: Terry Creasy, Texas A&M University & Daren Davis, Tarleton State University

RFID is a wireless technology where an electronic device harvests energy from transmitted radio waves. The belief is that energy can be harvested from the radio waves to drive an electronic strain gage for short periods of time. Absorbable materials are materials that can be absorbed in the human body and passed as waste. The use of absorbable materials to replace the metal hardware used to hold broken bones together while complex fractures heal has been around for several decades. The premise is that as time passes and the bones heal, the absorbable materials will be absorbed into the body leaving only the mended bone. One of the problems with this type of fracture is that unless the fracture is x‐rayed, it cannot easily be determined if the break is healing properly. By enabling the absorbable hardware with an RFID enabled strain sensor, it may be possible to measure the transfer of the load from the hardware to the healed bone without the need to expose the body to unnecessary x‐rays and it could allow earlier detection of fractures that are not healing properly since they would not transfer the load correctly.

Principal Investigator: Eleftherios Iakovou, Texas A&M University & TEES 
Team Members: Yanling Chang, Texas A&M University; Amir Gharehgozli, Texas A&M University-Galveston & Matthew Keblis, Texas A&M University

This project develops an analytical framework for transporting food from a farm‐to‐fork leveraging sharing economy and new disruptive innovative logistics technologies and practices (Uber‐type initiatives, drones, etc.) to improve responsiveness and operation efficiency in last mile delivery. This project aligns with current national initiatives within TEES around security for food supply chains.

Nanocomposite Films for Recyclable Food Packaging
Principal Investigator: H.J. Su, Texas A&M University 
Team Members: Paul Biney, Prairie View A&M University; Sheena Reeves, Prairie View A&M University; Nabila Shamin, Prairie View A&M University & Jianren Zhou
, Prairie View A&M University

This project will introduce well-dispersed nanoplatelets into PET (polyethylene terephthalate) to improve the oxygen barrier. This would allow PET, which is recyclable, to replace the nonrecyclable films (EVOH and Saran) currently for food packaging in which oxygen incursion must be controlled. Models for nanoplatelets in films suggest 10-100x improvement is possible if the nanoplatelets are well dispersed and are aligned parallel to the film axis.

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