FIU Research at eMerge: Solving problems bedside, on construction sites and under the sea


At the core of a research university is the impetus to solve problems and eMerge Americas provides the perfect platform to showcase the solutions FIU researchers propose this year in areas such as health care, construction and marine science.

The two-day exhibition portion of eMerge Americas takes place Monday and Tuesday, April 18 and 19, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The FIU pavilion is in section D, immediately to the left of the entrance to the exhibit hall

The centerpiece of the FIU pavilion will be a conversation with  FIU’s Medina Aquarius Program researchers who will be working on the coral reef 60 feet under the sea. The live presentation is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Monday.

Other projects that will be on display in FIU’s pavilion include:

  • Wireless brain control:  Sakhrat Khizroev, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and colleagues are investigating how non-invasive brain stimulation, or wireless brain control, can be used to help treat neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, autism, dementia, epilepsy, essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease. The technique could also help treat psychiatric disorders, including anxiety, depression obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia.
  • Prosthetics that have feeling: Ranu Jung, interim dean for the College of Engineering and Computing, and researchers in FIU’s Adaptive Neural Systems Laboratory will demonstrate the first neural-enabled prosthetic hand system to restore sensations to amputees.
  • No more tangle of wires in the hospital: Current “plugged-in” biomedical equipment hampers patient and caregiver mobility and poses safety hazards. Stavros V. Georgakopoulos, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and his team have found a solution with wireless power and data transmission for wearable and implantable sensors and devices such as thermometers and pulse oximeters that eliminate power cords and support a new way to measure vitals.
  • Seeing underneath the skin:  Anuradha Godavarty, associate professor of biomedical engineering, and colleagues have developed a novel, ultra-portable optical scanner (NIROS) to perform non-contact 2D area imaging of wounds. Currently in clinical trial, this mobile, handheld device could impact early intervention in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers and venous leg ulcers. NIROS may also have implications for monitoring a wide range of wounds.
  • Visualizing a construction site: Nipesh Pradhanang, associate professor in the OHL School of Construction, is improving construction safety through an oculus virtual reality headset that simulates the operation of heavy construction equipment. A 360-degree camera mounted on a hardhat helps researchers study workers’ field of view and analyze potential risks in their gazing pattern.

Also at the FIU pavilion: immediate and on-going help for local entrepreneurs courtesy of the Small Business Development Center at FIU. The center works with owners of small- and medium-sized businesses to chart a course to success. Established in 2014, the SBDC at FIU has helped more than 1,000 entrepreneurs. In its first year, the organization helped create 43 new businesses, securing $6.2 million in investment capital and contributing $182.8 million in sales to Florida’s economy.

In addition, FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg and Saif Ishoof, vice president of FIU’s Office of Engagement, will participate in the Lifees Award ceremony, honoring life science companies that have exhibited exemplary partnerships with students, researchers, and higher education institutions. Jung will participate in the panel discussion about innovative women in STEM, following the awards.

Also participating on panels are:

Monica Chiarini Tremblay, assistant professor in the Decision Sciences and Information Systems Department at FIU’s College of Business, will discuss the lack of innovation and technological resources in social welfare systems. The panel will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Monday at the Launch Pad Stage.

FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg will participate on a panel with other community leaders on Miami’s growth and what institutions in South Florida must to do to continue the momentum. The panel is scheduled for 4:40 p.m. on Monday at the Launch Pad Stage.

“For academics and researchers eMerge is a golden opportunity to connect with industry and bring scientific discoveries to market,” Rosenberg said. “We are bringing a sampling of the best FIU has to offer and we are excited to see how we can use it to create jobs and propel our community forward.”