Sigma Xi/IIT Awards for Excellence in University Research

In recognition of the exemplary accomplishments in research, scholarship, and creative activity by faculty members and graduate students at Illinois Institute of Technology, the Office of the Provost, the Office of Research, and the Illinois Tech Chapter of Sigma Xi sponsor the annual Sigma Xi/IIT Awards for Excellence in University Research. Sigma Xi is a scientific research society of nearly 75,000 scientists and engineers who have been elected to the society because of their research achievements or potential.

This year one award has been made in the student category, one award in the junior faculty category, and one award in the senior faculty category.

The awardees are:

Zhiyi Li – Student, Electrical Engineering

Zhiyi Li received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, and the M.S. degree in power engineering from Zhejiang University, China. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate of electrical engineering under the supervision of Distinguished Professor Mohammad Shahidehpour. At Illinois Tech, Zhiyi has been involved with state-of-the-art research on optimization techniques applied to the modeling of large-scale infrastructure systems including electric power systems, transportation systems, and cyber-physical systems. Zhiyi has published 12 peer-reviewed articles in top-tier journals and five peer-reviewed articles at top-tier conferences.

From left: Christopher White, Kenneth M. Tichauer, Frances Bronet

Kenneth M. Tichauer – Junior Faculty, Biomedical Engineering

Kenneth M. Tichauer is assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. The primary focus of Tichauer’s lab is the development of quantitative approaches of collecting and analyzing molecular imaging data for cancer applications. He has developed a strong reputation in advancing so-called “paired-imaging-agent” approaches, having recently demonstrated unprecedented levels of sensitivity in detecting microscopic cancerous lesions on a macroscopic scale using the methodology. He is currently working with Jovan Brankov (ECE) and Rajendra Mehta (Biology, IITRI) on a Nayar Prize I finalist project, “ADEPT Cancer Imager (ADEPT: agent-derived early photon tomography).” Tichauer has authored or co-authored 46 journal papers (including publications in PNAS, Cancer Research, and Nature Medicine), 20 full-length conference papers, one book, one book chapter, and three patents. He has been awarded more than $1.5 million in grants as principal investigator or subcontract PI, predominantly from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.

From left: Christopher White, Philip R. Troyk, Frances Bronet

Philip R. Troyk – Senior Faculty, Biomedical Engineering

Philip R. Troyk is professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. During his 30-plus-year career at Illinois Tech, his research work has focused on the design and deployment of neural prostheses—implantable electronic devices that interface with the nervous system and are intended to compensate for neural deficit or disease. The nature of his work is multidisciplinary and team based. He is currently the PI on a project titled “The Intra-Cortical Visual Prosthesis (ICVP),” which he has led for more than 15 years and is composed of a large team of researchers within both Illinois Tech (Frank Lane, Psychology) and seven partner institutions (including the University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Texas, and The Chicago Lighthouse). To advance the ICVP to human testing in a clinical trial, the National Institutes of Health recently awarded Troyk and Illinois Tech a five-year, $11.8 million grant under the White House BRAIN Initiative. This award is the largest project funded under the NIH BRAIN Initiative. Since coming to Illinois Tech, Troyk’s work has received more than $31 million in research funding from both public and private sources.

Please congratulate these individuals for their excellent work.