Powering the New Engineer | News from Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering
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$1 Billion in Research = Boundless Possibilities
As the University of Florida celebrates an ambitious landmark achievement of surpassing $1 billion in research expenditures, the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering would like to share how our eminent faculty and researchers—working side-by-side with our students—have helped contribute more than $131 million to that tally over the past year.
Wertheim Foundation Provides Lead Gift of $100 Million to UF Scripps
The largest individual gift in UF history will name the Herbert Wertheim UF Scripps Institute for Biomedical Innovation & Technology and launch a $1 billion public-private partnership that will drive the future of biomedical research and innovation.
Two scientists observe a reaction
AI Days: Oct. 27-28, 2022
The University of Florida has set aside October 27-28, 2022, as AI Days to welcome new AI faculty to UF and highlight the research and educational activities around campus. On Thursday, Oct 27th, UF is awarding over $50,000 in prize money to student winners of an AI Pitch Competition and an AI Hackathon. On Friday, Oct 28th, we will have panel discussions highlighting the application of AI to various disciplines. In addition, we will have a poster session for students, postdocs, staff, and faculty to present AI research. There will be ample time both days to meet other colleagues interested in AI. Breakfast and Lunch are provided with some reserved parking as well. Please register and join us at the Emerson Alumni Hall to celebrate UF’s AI Initiative.
Erika Moore Receives $1.85 million from NIH to Investigate How Ancestry Affects Wound Healing
Erika Moore, Ph.D.
Erika Moore, Ph.D.
Erika Moore, Ph.D., holder of the Rhines Rising Star Larry Hench Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, has received the prestigious National Institutes of Health Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Dr. Moore and her team will use the five-year, $1.85 million award to address critical gaps in understanding the relationship between ancestry and cell responses in wound healing. In the long term, this research will lead to biomaterial models of health disparities for the improved identification of wound healing risks and outcomes.
Building the American Dream
The University of Florida’s Association of Hispanic Alumni (AHA) recently selected Carlos A. Penin, PE, (CCE, ‘77) to receive the 2022 Gran Caimán of the Year award for his passion, commitment and leadership beyond engineering.
UF Researchers Enhance Defense Readiness Through the Language of Mathematics

James Fairbanks, Ph.D.
A multidisciplinary team of researchers led by engineering faculty including James Fairbanks, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science and Engineering, hopes to build software that will relate data from one scientific problem to another, with the goal of providing valuable applications for defense readiness.
The Endowment of Experience: Ben Botic, MS MSE ’71
Ben Botic's long road to freedom and opportunity yields an indestructible legacy for future generations of UF engineers. Along with Hella, his wife of 54 years, son, Bryan (UF BS Building Construction ’93) and daughter, Michelle Botic Hughes (UF BS Business Administration ’92), he established the Botic Family Scholars Professional Pathways Fund to provide experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE).

Branimir "Ben" Botic (MS MSE ’71)
For Scientists, Hurricane Ian is Posing Threats—and Opportunities
For scientists, Hurricane Ian, which roared onto Florida’s southwest coast on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm with winds of 250 kilometers per hour, has been both a research opportunity and an ordeal. UF researchers Christine Angelini, Ph.D. and Forrest Masters, Ph.D., P.E. were quoted in Science.org.
UF is Perfecting the Next Generation of Pedestrian Safety Tech
University of Florida Transportation Institute (UFTI), in collaboration with the Florida Department of Transportation and campus and city partners, will study a suite of emerging technologies that can save lives by providing timely warnings to drivers and pedestrians about one another — before an encounter becomes fatal.
Middle School Summer Camp “Girls with Nerve” Empowers the Pursuit of Neuroscience
Campers at the Girls with Nerve summer camp applied electrodes to their arms to send weak signals to their nerve cells. This experiment demonstrated what happens when there is too much stimulation, causing the brain to respond in a different way.
UF Researchers Daniel Ferris, Ph.D., and Rachael Seidler, Ph.D., teamed up to bring more than 20 middle school students to campus this summer for a free, week-long summer camp aimed at empowering girls to explore neuroscience. The camp brought sixth, seventh and eighth graders together for hands-on activities, field trips to multiple neuroscience labs and to hear from leading women researchers at UF.
University of Florida Partners With SAS to Tackle Water Quality Challenges With Analytics

Christine Angelini, Ph.D., CCS Director
The University of Florida’s Center for Coastal Solutions, or CCS, and the SAS Institute, a global leader in data analytics software, are joining forces to study the factors that influence water quality and the connections between water quality and economic activity in southwest Florida.
UF to Lead $7.5M NSF-Funded Project on Protecting Security of Marginalized and Vulnerable Populations
Kevin R.B. Butler, Ph.D. Kevin R.B. Butler, Ph.D., lead PI of the project
Using a $7.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), a team of researchers led by the University of Florida will examine the needs of marginalized and vulnerable populations among security and privacy technologies. The project, supported by the NSF’s Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace Frontiers program, seeks to develop foundational design principles to mitigate harm and improve benefits to these populations based on foundational computer science, social science theory, and direct collaboration with marginalized and vulnerable populations.
Erika Moore First in UF Engineering to Receive Prestigious 3M Award

Erika Moore, Ph.D.
Erika Moore, Ph.D., the Rhines Rising Star Larry Hench Assistant Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, is the first Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering faculty member to be selected for the 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award (NTFA).
Jutla Receives $1M NASA Grant to Predict and Prevent Cholera
Antarpreet Jutla, Ph.D.
Antarpreet Jutla, Ph.D.
Antarpreet Jutla, Ph.D., an environmental engineering sciences associate professor in the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment, along with researchers and humanitarian advisors from other institutions, created a one-of-its-kind portal to predict and prevent cholera outbreaks. With a $1 million grant from NASA, UF will become one of the first institutions primed to understand the patterns of this disease’s emergence in several parts of the world with the use of prediction tools.
UF Researchers Find Particles From Virus That Causes COVID Expand Beyond Quarantine Spaces
From left: William (Brad) Vass, Ph.D. student, and Chang-Yu Wu, Ph.D., professor, ESSIE
William (Brad) Vass, Ph.D. student and project leader, and Chang-Yu Wu, Ph.D., mentor
Researchers at the University of Florida found that residential settings might be hotspots to spread SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, due to poor ventilation in homes and the relaxed usage of masks. As part of this study, researchers were also the first to demonstrate a viable, or infectious, virus on the surface of a cellphone.
Hey Chatbot, Tell Me How Kids Can Learn About AI
The Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering and College of Education have teamed up to host Camp DIALOGS, a project promoting equity in education — aimed at making AI and computer science more accessible to students in lower-income areas.
Bolch and Researchers Awarded NIH Grant for $10.7 Million
Wesley Bolch, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor and UF Term Professor in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, and researchers were awarded an NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases program project grant for $10.7 million to conduct multiscale evaluations and to investigate mitigation of toxicities following internal radionuclide contamination.

Wesley Bolch, Ph.D.
UF Partners With CIA on Improving Cybersecurity
The University of Florida and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency have entered an agreement to study how artificial intelligence and machine learning applications (AIML) can be used to detect and deter malicious agents that infiltrate computer networks. The work will be carried out by researchers associated with UF’s Florida Institute for National Security.
Here's What $1 Billion in Research Spending Does for UF and for Florida
The University of Florida has achieved $1 billion in research spending, a historic milestone that puts UF in a select group of about 15 public universities with expenditures of this magnitude. In this episode of the From Florida podcast, Vice President for Research David Norton explains what that means for UF, Gainesville and for the state.
Swamp Launch rocket design team thrives at NASA competition
In a field of 60 teams at the NASA Student Launch competition, UF’s competitive rocket design team, Swamp Launch, blasted its way to 4th place overall in the launch category and 3rd place for the payload design award.
Alumni Reunion Challenge: November 2-12, 2022
10 Days. $25,000. Every Dollar Goes to Student Support and Development.
With your help, we can rise to the challenge and raise $25,000 in 10 days to help first and second-year students succeed at UF through experiential learning and peer mentorship opportunities. From November 2-12 only, Bud (UF BSEE ' 88) and Kim (UF BS '88) Deffebach are matching all gifts up to $25,000 so you can double the impact of your gift! Join us and fellow Gator Engineers in helping students reach their full potential by supporting the Department of Engineering Education at the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. Let’s rise up together!
Give starting Nov. 2-12