Archives: Projects

Project Listing

Alabama Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP)

The NSF Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program is a national effort to increase the number of students from underrepresented minority groups in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. In 2016, UA was awarded a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to head the Alabama LSAMP program, which is an alliance of four-year institutions, community colleges, high schools, and industry partners. ALSAMP began as one of several similar alliance across…

Contributors: Sarah Dunlap Anneliese Bolland Viola Acoff (PD) Emmett Lodree (PD)

CDC REACH: Expanding the REACH of the On Track to Wellness Program

The CDC Racial and Ethnic Approaches for Community Health Program (REACH) aims to improve health, prevent chronic disease, and reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic populations with highest risk or burden of chronic disease through community-based activities in the areas of 1) nutrition, 2) physical activity, 3) family healthy weight programs, and 4) vaccination programs. The purpose of this project is to incorporate and expand local level strategies and activities to prevent chronic disease…

Contributors: Sarah Dunlap Janet Brown (PI) Leigh Ann Bray Dayton (PI)

Community Assessment Of Social Services For Shelby County

This project was developed to conduct an assessment of the current and anticipated social services needs of the citizens of Shelby County, Alabama. The assessment included interviews with key community leaders and directors of key social service agencies and a survey of the general population of Shelby County. Using a mixed-methods approach, the results from the interviews and surveys were synthesized to 1) identify how key informants visualized the future of social services, 2) identify areas where there…

Contributors: Debra McCallum Erika Steele Lauren E. Kois

Comprehensive Cancer Control

Alabama’s cancer incidence rate and cancer mortality rate for both males and females are significantly higher than the national rates. The Alabama Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition (ACCCC) is a statewide network of physicians, organizations, medical groups, cancer patients, cancer survivors and interested individuals dedicated to reducing the impact and burden of cancer on Alabama. ACCCC, supported by administrators at the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), partners with ISSR to evaluate implementation and outcomes of…

Contributors: Sarah Dunlap

Hale County Middle School 21st Century Community Learning Center

Hale County Middle School (HCMS) is a Title 1 school located in rural Alabama with 64% of students receiving free/reduced lunch subsidies. Academically, the school is underperforming relative to state and national norms. Based on 2018-2019 data: 14.9% of HCMS students were considered as chronic absentees, missing 15 or more days of school in a year. Alabama State assessments of academic performance (Scantron Performance Series Test) indicated that two-thirds of students failed to make proficiency…

Contributors: Joan Barth

International Conflict Data Lab

The International Conflict Data Lab [] at the University of Alabama offers a suite of logically consistent, correctly-coded datasets that identify all threats, displays, and uses of force between states from 1816 to 2014.  Several different funded projects are ongoing in the lab, and interested students should contact Prof. Doug Gibler for work opportunities.

Contributors: Doug Gibler

NSF CAREER: Fully Adaptive, Physics-Aware RF-Enabled Cyber-Physical Human Systems

The long-term vision of the PI is to become a leader in interactive cyber-physical human systems enabled by radio frequency (RF-CPHS) though integrating artificial intelligence (AI)/ML into fully-adaptive RF transceiver operation to empower innovative CPHS applications involving autonomous vehicles, health monitoring, safety/security and HCI.  This vision builds on the PI’s unique, multi-disciplinary background in radar signal processing, AI/ML, and human dynamics, and track-record in innovation, as exemplified by her patent for radar-based sign language recognition.…

Contributors: Erika Steele Sevgi Gurbuz (PI)

NSF CAREER: Fundamentals of Modeling Deformation Twinning in Polycrystalline Materials Driven by Diffraction-Based Micromechanical Data

The goal of this CAREER proposal is to systematically analyze experimental micromechanical data in order to formulate, implement, and validate a predictive phenomenological model governing deformation twin nucleation and growth at the grain scale, closing a gap that currently exists in crystal plasticity modeling of polycrystalline materials. Insights gained through this work will be integrated in undergraduate and graduate coursework, where students will be trained in the theory of advanced material behavior and state-of-the-art methods…

Contributors: Joan Barth Matthew Kasemer (PI)

NSF EPSCoR RII: Individual Based Talent Bridge from Minority Institutions to Graduate School and Energy Industry

The UA Graduate School’s Strategic Graduate Partnerships Initiative and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, worked together to develop this program that partners with Stillman College, Fort Valley State University and Jackson State University to prepare undergraduate students for graduate programs, industry careers and entrepreneurial opportunities in renewable energy. The five-year project was awarded through the NSF’s Bridging Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, or EPSCoR, Communities, also known as RII-BEC. Project goals include enhancing the…

Contributors: Joan Barth Kelsey Chappetta Shanlin Pan (PI)

NSF IRES Site: Fractional–Order Circuits and Systems Research Collaboration with EU COST Action

This International Research Experience for Students (IRES) takes place at the Brno University of Technology (BUT) in Czechia. The site will recruit 6 undergraduate students from the University of Alabama (UA) each of the 3 program years (ending in 2024) to participate in 11-week research experiences focused on fractional-order circuits and systems under the supervision of faculty from BUT in the Czech Republic. Fractional-order circuits and systems were selected as the theme for this site…

Contributors: Sarah Dunlap Todd Freeborn (PI)

NSF IRES: Innovative Macromolecular and Polymer Research Experience in San Sebastian

This International Research Experience for Students (IRES) recruits seven undergraduate students from the University of Alabama (UA) during each of the 3 program years (Ending in 2024) to participate in 8-week research experiences focused on macromolecular and polymer materials under the supervision of faculty from POLYMAT/UPV (Universidad de Pais Vasco/University of the Basque Country) in San Sebastian, Spain (Figure 1). Polymers (commonly referred to as “plastics”) were selected as the theme for this IRES Site…

Contributors: Joan Barth Kelsey Chappetta Jason Bara (PI)

NSF IRES: U.S.-Australia Innovations of Solar Materials and Solar Cells

This International Research Experience for Students (IRES) site will provide the platform for five U.S. undergraduate students per year, beginning in 2023) at The University of Alabama (UA) to learn the cutting edge innovative solar technology from a world-class research institute, at the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE) in The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney, Australia). Solar energy represents the richest renewable energy source in the world. Converting solar energy…

Contributors: Sarah Dunlap Feng Yan (PI)

NSF IUSE: Teaching Ethics Using Problem-Based Learning in Freshman Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering

This project, funded through the NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program, investigates problem-based learning as an effective methodology to instill ethics as a foundation during students’ enrollment in an introductory ECE course. During the three years of this project, ethical problems in electrical engineering will be introduced to undergraduate students working in teams using either traditional lecture-based activities or problem-based learning activities developed by the principal investigators. Students are assessed through their course-work assignments…

Contributors: Sarah Dunlap Todd Freeborn (PI) Claire Major (PI) Miriam Sweeney (PI)

NSF RET Site: Engaging and Training Alabama STEM Teachers in Sensing Technologies

Ten (10) middle school teachers from west central Alabama will participate in 8-week summer research experiences (focused on sensing and measurement to align well with middle school science learning objectives) under the mentorship of faculty from the College of Engineering (CoE). Participating teachers will generate middle school science curricula based on their research experiences. Further, this project will advance knowledge of what research and professional development activities are effective at increasing teachers knowledge of engineering…

Contributors: Erika Steele Todd Freeborn (PI) Chris Crawford (Co-PI)

NSF REU Site: Cybersecurity for Emerging Networks in Energy and Intelligent Transportation Systems

The REU is a ten-week summer program during which eight students will participate in research in the security of emerging networks and related areas (3 years, ending in 2026). The program has the goals of recruiting students from institutions with a limited capacity to provide research opportunities for undergraduate students and increasing the numbers of women and underrepresented minorities in cybersecurity.

Contributors: Erika Steele Despina Stavrinos Ahmad Alsharif (PI) Mizanur Rahman (Co-PI)

NSF REU Site: Engineering Sensors, Systems, and signal Processing for Speech Pathology

In this project, funded by the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, 9 students were recruited per year (3 years, ending in 2022) to participate in a10-week, hands-on, multi-disciplinary summer research experience. REU activities were shared across the facilities of the College of Engineering, the Department of Communicative Disorders, and the Speech and Hearing Clinic at UA, under the supervision of faculty from all units. All student projects apply engineering principles to develop technologies…

Contributors: Erika Steele Todd Freeborn (PI) Memorie Gosa (PI)

NSF REU Site: Fluid Mechanics with Analysis Using Computations and Experiments (FM-ACE)

In this NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) project, 10-12 students per year (3 years, ending in 2019) engaged in a 10-week summer intensive research program, conducting research in fluid mechanics. The field of fluid mechanics is unique in its ability to be visually captivating, making it an excellent area of research for motivating students to pursue graduate study. It is also multidisciplinary in nature as a wide range of engineering disciplines require varying depths…

Contributors: Erika Steele Denis Aslangil (PI)

NSF S-STEM: Learning in Advance Evaluation

The Learning in Advance (LIA) project is funded through the NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S-STEM) program. This 5-year project offers, in three engineering departments, a one-credit hour preparatory course that introduces students to fundamental concepts before they encounter these concepts in a gateway course for their major. In addition, students who are deemed eligible based on FAFSA and are U.S. citizens are considered for an S-STEM scholarship after successful completion of…

Contributors: Erika Steele Sarah Dunlap Todd Freeborn (PI) Paul Hubner (PI) Travis Atkison (PI)

NSF S-STEM: Learning in Advance Research Study

The Learning in Advance (LIA) project is funded through the NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S-STEM) program. LIA students take a one-credit hour preparatory course introducing them to fundamental concepts before they encounter these concepts in a gateway course for their major. In addition, students who are deemed eligible based on FAFSA are considered for an S-STEM scholarship after successful completion of the LIA prep course. These LIA Scholars are also assigned…

Contributors: Debra McCallum Erika Steele Sarah Dunlap Todd Freeborn (PI) Paul Hubner (PI) Travis Atkison (PI)

NSF Scholarship for Service: SFS@Bama

CyberCorps® Scholarship For Service (SFS) is a unique program designed to recruit and train the next generation of information technology professionals, industrial control system security professionals, and security managers to meet the needs of the cyber security mission for Federal, State, local, and tribal governments. This program provides scholarships for up to 3 years of support for cyber security undergraduate and graduate education. The scholarships are funded through grants awarded by the National Science Foundation.…

Contributors: Diane Tober Joan Barth Jeff Carver (PI)

NSF The Effects of Socio-cultural Context on Human Bio-Markets

The research supported by this award investigates the effects of socio-cultural context on the governance of human bio-material donation and sale. Over the past few decades, medical science has increased the potential uses of human bio-materials. However, as innovation has increased, so have questions about costs, outcomes, and ethics. In response, a variety of different regulatory policies have been adopted globally. This variation across countries provides an excellent opportunity for comparative research to see to…

Contributors: Diane Tober

NSF-funded Projects on International Conflict Data (ICD)

The International Conflict Data (ICD) Project has been awarded multiple NSF grants to collect and apply data on international conflict covering the period 1816-2014.  Data collections have included NSF-funded research to determine how and why conflicts have ended, how conflicts evolved using day-level militarized events, the issues fought over during conflicts, and strategic selection in conflict data.  Current NSF funding is being used to examine the role of non-state actors in international conflicts.

Contributors: Doug Gibler

NSF: ART: Innovate UA – Fostering an Entrepreneurial Innovation Ecosystem in Alabama

Innovate UA aims to accelerate the capacity for translational research at The University of Alabama fortifying its role as a flourishing regional innovation ecosystem. Fostering an innovative and entrepreneurial culture on campus that leads to increased technology commercialization, one of the key objectives, will be accomplished through university led private-public partnerships (P3s). The latter amalgamate diverse academia, government, and industry stakeholders to drive technological  advancements and address systemic/societal challenges through use-inspired research, thus, unleashing new…

Contributors: Erika Steele Joan Barth Nghia Chiem (PI)

NSF: Collaborative Research: Testing Tutor – An Inquiry-Based Pedagogy and Supporting Tool to Improve Student Learning of Software Testing Concepts

Most testing pedagogy approaches in computer science education either provide students with feedback in terms of raw coverage information (i.e., which statements or paths are not tested) or in terms of a list of instructor test cases that were missing from the student’s test suite. Both of these types of feedback are useful, but neither motivate the student to understand why their test suite is incomplete. An inductive learning approach is a better alternative (to…

Contributors: Joan Barth Jeff Carver (PI)

The Alabama Accountability Act

The Alabama Accountability Act (AAA), passed by the Alabama State Legislature in 2013 and amended in 2015, established a statewide scholarship program for low-income students to attend public or private schools. The scholarship program is funded by a tax credit program, and the scholarship awards are managed by Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs), which must comply with standards set by the AAA. All students receiving scholarships must meet family income eligibility requirements. Priority is given to…

Contributors: Joan Barth Erika Steele

Tobacco Prevention and Control Programs (ADPH, CDC)

Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Approximately 480,000 people die in the U.S. each year due to tobacco-related illnesses (CDC, 2014). In order to reduce the health and economic burden of tobacco use in Alabama, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) develops and implements statewide efforts to educate the public about the dangers of tobacco use and to monitor the use and control of…

Contributors: Sarah Dunlap

Tuscaloosa Parks and Recreation

The Elevate Tuscaloosa project is a research collaboration with the City of Tuscaloosa’s Office of Urban development. The project focused on examining perceptions of residents about the parks and recreation facilities in Tuscaloosa. Drs. Daquin and Dunlap developed and administered the survey to Tuscaloosa residents. Project goals included: (1) identifying how residents use parks and recreation facilities, (2) understanding why some residents do not use the parks, and (3) identifying amenities and features residents would…

Contributors: Jane Daquin Sarah Dunlap

USDA: Building Adaptive Apparel Competencies into the Higher Education Curriculum

The objective of the project is to provide undergraduate students in the fashion design and merchandising program at UA and University of North Carolina-Greensboro experience with adaptive fashion design for people with disabilities.  The project will develop new course modules on adaptive clothing design and marketing and develop a certificate program.  This will be the first program of its kind in U.S.

Contributors: Joan Barth Kelsey Chappetta Xiao Tong (PI)

Worlds of Work Evaluation

Worlds of Work (WoW) is an annual career exposition for middle and high school students in West Alabama. The program is sponsored by West Alabama Works, a regional workforce development agency. The two-day event is designed to expose students to career opportunities in the region that are aligned with workforce needs in West Alabama, including manufacturing, education, healthcare, and more. Held at Shelton State Community College, students have the opportunity to engage in hands-on authentic…

Contributors: Joan Barth Stephanie Masters

Variation in the LSAMP Summer Bridge Program: Effects on STEM Self-Efficacy, Belonging, and Intentions

To address the challenges facing racial minority students majoring in STEM during the transition from high school to college, NSF funded Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) programs throughout the country implement summer bridge programs. Bridge programs vary in their focus on professional development, academic support, research experiences, social activities, and in other areas, but all share an intention to support students during their transition to college. Beyond retention, little is known about how…

Contributors: Joan Barth Debra McCallum Viola Acoff (PD)

Gender, STEM, and Career Interests

Despite great advances in some areas of science such as biology, the gender gap remains significant in many occupations in the fields of science, computing, engineering, and math. This suggests that innovative educational programs, although often effective in changing enrollment and performance in science and math courses, have not been broadly effective in altering girls’ and women’s career choices. In our work we examine a number of factors that might account for this phenomenon: Social-contextual…

Contributors: Joan Barth Sarah Dunlap Kelsey Chappetta Stephanie Masters Debra McCallum

Farm Theater: A Novel Safety Strategy Approach for Agricultural Communities

The increasing age of U.S. farmers, coupled with health challenges as age advances, create a high-risk work environment for older farmers. A preliminary study noted that the farm community desires to learn from each other, using stories and humor, rather than from age-based guidelines or brochures. A novel intervention, didactic readers theater is being tested among farm communities in the Southeast U.S. with farm couples ages 45 and over. The investigators partner with local agricultural…

Contributors: Debra McCallum Michael Conaway

NSF: Innovative Training Enabled by a Research Software Engineering Community of Trainers (INTERSECT)

This project offers workshops that provide training activities aimed at intermediate/advanced Research Software Developers.  The goal of INTERSECT is to improve the software skills of those building the research software of tomorrow so that the software is more reliable, accurate, and sustainable. The result of this training will arm a subset of Research Software Developers with the skills and knowledge they need to enter into the growing CI Professional role of a Research Software Engineer…

Contributors: Joan Barth Kelsey Chappetta Jeff Carver (PI)

Alabama’s Workforce

These statewide telephone surveys, conducted in collaboration with the Center for Business and Economic Research, assess the characteristics of Alabama’s workforce including levels of underemployment and unemployment.

Contributors: Michael Conaway Debra McCallum

Race Relations at The University of Alabama

The year 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of integration at The University of Alabama. A team of University researchers developed a study to understand the status of race relations on campus. This study is patterned after a study conducted by researchers at the University from the 1960’s to the 1980’s and allowed researchers to compare the current situation with that of years past. Dr. Debra McCallum has teamed up with other researchers from The University…

Contributors: Debra McCallum

Student Shopping Survey

The shopping and spending patterns of UA students were investigated in this 2020 online survey. It replicated surveys conducted in 2011 and 2015.

Contributors: Debra McCallum