U.S. Department of Defense awards $2.1 million in grants to university

Four FIU professors received grants this month from the U.S. Department of Defense totaling $2.1 million.

More and more mobile devices are being used to transmit critical defense and intelligence information from the field. Bogdan Carbunar, assistant professor in the College of Engineering and Computing’s School of Computing and Information Sciences, will be taking the lead on a project that aims to develop a system of collecting, tracking, and verifying data from mobile devices as well as designing, implementing, validating, and evaluating data protection techniques on mobile devices. The research will help address some of the current challenges of information sharing via mobile devices, such as ensuring documents derived from classified data stay classified, and figuring out how to enforce uniform security policies across a large set of principals, computer environments, and applications.

Carbunar’s project, “MCloud: Secure Provenance for Mobile Cloud Users,” will run three years through May 2016.

Mehmet Dorak, associate professor of epidemiology in the Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, received funding for “Functional Genomics of Disease-associated HLA Region Polymorphisms.” This three-year project aims to map the human leukocyte antigens (HLA) complex, examine correlations, and catalogue the data for subsequent genome-wide association studies (GWAS). The HLA region is the genomic region that is most commonly associated with disease susceptibility and expression levels of genes outside the region. The information gathered from the study could help with environmental epidemiology studies.

Stavros Georgakopoulos, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, has begun his Department of Defense-sponsored work on “Highly Efficient Wireless Powering for Autonomous Structural Health Monitoring and Test/Evaluation Systems.”

The scientific objective of this work is to improve the efficiency, range, and safety of wireless powering of sensors using the recently discovered method of Strongly Coupled Magnetic Resonance (SCMR). Georgakopoulos’s research team plans comprehensive, fundamental studies of the performance and miniaturization of SCMR for embedded as well as surface mounted sensors. The research is expected to lead to the discovery of important technologies, such as smart runways, nano-satellites, smart skins for hypersonic vehicles, autonomous portable devices, integrated circuits, and embedded sensors.

Ming Zhao, who also is an assistant professor in the College of Engineering and Computing’s School of Computing and Information Sciences, was funded for his project on “Enabling Time-sensitive Applications on Virtualized Computing Systems.”

The objective of this project is to address the research challenges for enforcing timeliness guarantees on virtual machines (VM) and efficient timeliness-driven resource management of virtualized systems, supporting scalable and flexible computing of applications with different degrees of timing constraints.

Many applications can benefit from computing on virtualized systems, including those that are time sensitive, such as robotic control (which functions only if finished within a specific deadline) and visualization (in which a response-time violation means loss of interactivity). But it has proven challenging for virtualized systems to deliver application-desired timeliness. This project will design novel solutions to address these limitations and enable virtualized time-sensitive computing, which could affect many Department of Defense areas where the use of virtualization and cloud has value but current technologies do not provide adequate support for time-sensitive workloads.


This Department of Defense image shows a U.S. Army sergeant in a Chinook helicopter keeping watch on the mountains in the Chorah district of Uruzgan province, Afghanistan. The Department of Defense recently funded four new projects at FIU.

Congratulations to Professors Carbunar, Dorak, Georgakopoulos and Zhao for their new projects, which will add to the extensive research and education experience for FIU faculty and students.