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UTSA wins $5 million in stimulus funds for new interdisciplinary center

UTSA students Madhulika Jupelli (top) and Gregor Weber (Photos by Mark McClendon)

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(Aug. 31, 2009)--A collaborative team of researchers at The University of Texas at San Antonio has won a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish the Simulation, Visualization and Real-time Prediction (SiViRT) Center for interdisciplinary computer-based research, education and training. The five-year grant funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act is the largest stimulus award UTSA has received to date.

"The SiViRT Center will offer a platform for engineering, science, statistics, biology and medicine experts from across the university and South Texas to conduct fundamental and collaborative research with real-world applications," said Efstathios (Stathis) Michaelides, the grant's principal investigator and professor and chair of the UTSA Department of Mechanical Engineering. "In addition, by offering lectures, scholarships and the opportunity to work on serious research projects, the SiViRT Center will attract students of all levels from those attending high school on up to those pursuing their doctorate degrees."

The UTSA SiViRT Center aims to:

  • Integrate the computer simulation research that UTSA currently conducts in the College of Engineering and College of Sciences
  • Provide infrastructure and leadership to develop interdisciplinary programs in computational research and education
  • Develop collaborative relations within UTSA, with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and with other regional, national and international institutions
  • Attract minority and graduate students to engineering and science careers
  • Enhance the diversity of UTSA graduate programs by improving the retention of underrepresented minorities
  • Prepare the next generation of engineers and scientists to solve scientific and engineering challenges using computer-based methods, systems and simulations

Because of its interdisciplinary nature, the SiViRT center will not be housed in one location. Its group of senior and junior researchers will be assigned to one of three teams, each led by a member of the engineering faculty. Those teams include the imaging team led by Sos Agaian, Peter Flawn Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; the real-time prediction team led by Yusheng Feng, associate professor of mechanical engineering; and the uncertainty quantification team led by Harry Millwater, associate professor of mechanical engineering.

Operationally, the SiViRT Center imaging team will create new theory and efficient methods and procedures to advance the center's overall imaging capabilities. Simultaneously, the center's real-time prediction team will establish a framework for real-time control and prediction that can be applied to cancer treatment modeling, surgical control, intelligent unmanned vehicles and other areas. Finally, the uncertainty quantification team will establish a framework to calculate the level of uncertainty of various engineering systems including bone fractures, nanofluid heat transfer systems, structural elements and nanoparticle transport systems.

"Not only will the SiViRT Center enhance the research capabilities of UTSA faculty by encouraging collaboration between our colleges, but it will provide support to the talented students who will become the next generation of researchers and university educators," said Robert Gracy, UTSA vice president for research.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 is an economic recovery package adopted to help states stabilize budgets and stimulate economic growth. Stimulus funding will be allocated, in part, to modernize health care, improve schools, modernize infrastructure and invest in the clean energy technologies of the future.

Events
Feb. 5, 6:15 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy's Curtis Vaughan Observatory will offer free stargazing for the public beginning on top of the 4th floor of the Flawn Science Building. Experienced astronomers will be on hand to show a variety of astronomical objects and answer any questions. This event is free and open to the public, so feel free to invite friends and family.
Curtis Vaughan Observatory

Feb. 6, All Day

10th annual San Antonio Writing Project Teachers' Conference

This year's keynote speaker is Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisper. The event will feature breakout sessions and a presentation by the Creative Writers from North East School of the Arts. The event is free and open to all teachers from Pre-K through university level. Attendees can earn a certificate for 3 hours of Professional Development Credit.
Riklin Auditorium (FS1.406), Downtown Campus

Feb. 9, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. & 6 - 9 p.m.

Rowdy Gras 2016

The UTSA community is invited to attend the 3rd annual Rowdy Gras celebration! This year Rowdy Gras includes a daytime event from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. with a free food tasting and music on the UC Paseo. The main event takes place from 6 - 9 p.m. in the UC Lawn. The event includes free food, live jazz music, activities and giveaways.
University Center Paseo & Lawn, UTSA Main Campus

Feb. 10, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning 2015-16 Speaker Series

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series continues with Dana Cuff, Ph.D., a professor of architecture and urbanism at the University of California, Los Angeles. In her talk, Cuff will discuss new forms of “studio” and new types of practices. Free and open to the public.
Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), UTSA Downtown Campus

Feb. 13, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

29th annual Asian Festival - Year of the Monkey

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures invites Texas and Texans to the Asian Festival. What began as a traditional family reunion for the Chinese New Year has expanded to include other Asian communities and participants, showcasing their unique culture and traditions.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures

Feb. 13, 1 p.m.

2016 Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium

Join the UTSA Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching in celebrating interdisciplinary inquiry at the 2016  Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium.  The colloquium will include a panel of faculty and recent doctoral graduate and a showcase of the best IDS undergraduate inquiry projects of the year 2015. The event is free and open to the public.
Business Building (BB 2.06.04), UTSA Main Campus

Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m.

African-American Social Welfare Pioneers Responding to Community Needs

The UTSA College of Public Policy presents the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Dr. Iris Carlton-LaNey, Professor of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Iris Carlton LaNey will speak to the UTSA community about the role and impact of African-Americans in the social work profession.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus

Feb. 23, 7 p.m.

Presentation and Book Signing with Luis Carlos Montalvan

Please join us for a presentation and book signing by Luis Carlos Montalván (Fmr. Capt., USA), author of the New York Times Bestseller Until Tuesday and the international award-winning childrens book Tuesday Tucks Me In. His books will be available for purchase at the UTSA Bookstore. This event is free and open to the public.
Southwest Room (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Feb. 25, 6 p.m.

12th Annual Black Heritage Gala

The 12th Annual Black Heritage Gala is a formal event which includes a student performance, keynote remarks by Michael Brown, an award presentation, dinner and dancing. Tickets are $10 for UTSA students and $15 for all other guests. Tickets are on sale now at Roadrunner Express. Contact (210) 458-4770 for more information.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Feb. 27, 9 a.m.

Cultural Contrasts in Latin America

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will host a free workshop focusing on teaching Latin American culture and geography for students seeking their teacher certification. The workshop includes free resources for teaching Latin American subject matter as well as presentations on language, identity, music, geography, and political and developmental history, and a special educators’ tour of the museum’s Los Tejanos exhibit. Free with registration.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC 3.01.02)


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