Recognizing Research Excellence

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

On October 27, 2022, William States Lee College of Engineering was pleased to honor its leading research faculty during the inaugural Research Awards Ceremony. The ceremony recognizes 2021-2022 faculty for their research excellence as they forge the future of discovery and new knowledge for engineering.

The awards honors college faculty who contribute significantly to the objective of increasing research, innovation and scholarly activities. In addition to impactful, cutting edge research, the winners are congratulated on their efforts to secure funding and their mentorship of students through the discovery process.  

In 2021-22 the College submitted 159 grant proposals, received 106 awards (67 new), secured nearly $14 million in funding and graduated 139 master’s and 39 Ph.D. students. College faculty have leadership or prominent roles in twelve of the seventeen UNC Charlotte designated research of areas of focus and distinction.

Newly created role of Associate Dean of Research

The recognition and awards ceremony is sponsored by Dean Robert Keynton and was developed by  Dr. Brigid Mullany, Professor and the college’s first Associate Dean of Research.  In this role, Mullaney will direct guide research faculty towards elevating the college’s research prominence in strategic areas.

The Award Medallion

Each winner received a commemorative coin, commissioned with the likeness of William States “Bill” Lee, III, Chairman and president of Duke Power (now Duke Energy), community and industry leader and namesake of UNC Charlotte’s College of Engineering. His commitment to education and research are celebrated with this wearable medallion, which is reserved for the annual award winners.


Congratulations to all award winners for their accomplishments and contributions.

Struck Gold Award

The candidate/team must provide details of a high impact, transformational, extramurally funded grant or contract, or worldwide award received during the last two academic years. The contribution must be widely recognized as highly meritorious and must have had a significant impact. 

2022 Winner: Dr. Sukumar Kamalasadan, Professor

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research focus: energy related research designed to devise tools to detect cyber and physical threats so as to improve grid resiliency and support critical infrastructure.



Early Career Award

Full-time faculty, including research faculty, with a minimum of three years of employment within the College of Engineering are eligible for this category. The candidates must demonstrate early research success which shows promise for future impact on their field of study. 

2022 Winner: Dr. Jun Xu, Associate Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science

Research focus: Materials and electrochemistry for vehicle battery safety, durability and multifunctionality


Senior Research Award

Full-time faculty, including research-faculty, who have been employed by the College of Engineering for five years are eligible. Candidates for this award must demonstrate a sustained record (over 10 years) of research and impact on their field of study.  

2022 Winner: Dr. Badrul Chowdhury, Professor

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Focus:  Renewable energy systems,  multi-modal non-linear system vulnerability assessment,  and energy storage in a smart grid environment  



Special appreciation to:

Award committee:

Dr. Simon Hsiang, Dr. Sukumar Kamalasadan, Dr. Russel Keanini, Dr. Thomas Nicholas, and Dr. Srinivas Pulugurtha


Dr. Aidan Browne, Dr. Simon Hsiang, Dr .Jimmie Miller, Dr. Russel Keanini, and Dr. Srinivas Pulugurtha


2022 Patent Awardees

In addition to research awards, W.S. Lee College of Engineering instituted an annual recognition of innovation by presenting plaques to new U.S. Patent awardees, commemorating their achievement.


Patent Number: 11,124,439

Patent Title—Devices, Systems, and Methods for Heterogeneous Catalytic Quenching of Hydrogen Peroxide In A Water Source

Inventor—Dr. Olya Keen


Patent Number: 11,040,896

Patent Title—Systems and Methods for Bromide Separation and Reuse

Inventor—Dr. Olya Keen, Dr. Mei Sun,and  Dr.James Amburgey


Patent Number:  10,704,855

Patent Title—System and Method For Testing Firearm Operating Characteristics

Inventor—Dr. James Amburgey


Patent Number: 11,174,201

Patent Title—Carbon Storage Using Ash, Seawater, and Alkali Activator As A Non-Cement-Based Building Materials

Inventor— Dr. Shen-En Chen


Patent Number: 11,218,148

Patent Title—Diode-Clamped Solid-State Circuit Breaker without Dynamic Voltage Balancing Issues

Inventor—Dr. Madhav Manjrekar,and Dr. Ehab Shoubaki


Patent Number: 10,727,669/10,965,124

Patent Title—Apparatuses Including Power Electronics Circuitry and Related Methods of Operation

Inventor—Dr. Madhav Manjrekar, Dr. Somasundaram Essakiappan, and Dr. Ehab Shoubaki


Patent Number: 11,285,242

Patent Title—Processing and Bioactivation of a Novel Sic Medical Device

Inventor—Dr. Ahmed El-Ghannam


Patent Number: 11,292,749

Patent Title—Composite Carbide Compositions and Methods of Making the Same

Inventor—Dr. Ahmed El-Ghannam


Patent Number—10,718,597

Patent Title—Heterogeneously Stacked Multi Layered Metallic Structures With Adiabatic Shear Localization Under Uniaxial Dynamic Compression

Inventor—Dr. Qiuming Wei


Patent Number: 10,782,323

Patent Title—Wideband Contactless Magnetoresistive-Rogowski Current Sensing

Inventor—Dr. Babak Parkhideh


Patent Number: 10,965,128

Patent Title—Systems and Methods for Advanced Grid Integration of Distributed Generators and Energy Resources

Inventor—Dr. Babak Parkhideh, and

Dr. Robert Cox


Patent Number: 10,784,650

Patent Title—Light-Effect Transistor (LET)

Inventor—Dr. Yong Zhang