Research & Innovation

Englot, Sabau Secure NSF CAREER Awards to Pursue Robotics, Systems Research

Two more Stevens researchers have secured prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Development ("CAREER") awards. The five-year awards are given to particularly promising young tenure-track researchers to pursue projects of note.

Professor Brendan Englot

In February, NSF announced that mechanical engineering professor Brendan Englot had received a $500,000 CAREER award for a project during which he will investigate the use of reinforcement learning techniques to accelerate underwater robots' modeling, maneuvering and learning in complex subsea environments. He will also work to help create new curriculum materials for WaterBotics, a Stevens-created K-12 program that teaches engineering principles through hands-on learning with underwater robots.

"I'm thrilled to receive this award, since it will be a huge enabler for our work on autonomous navigation for underwater robots," said Englot. "It will support a Ph.D. student for five years, and it will also support an important collaboration with CIESE (Stevens' Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education) that will allow middle and high school students to learn about engineering principles using our underwater robot as a source of teaching examples."

The NSF also announced a second $500,000 CAREER award for Stevens electrical and computer engineering professor Serban Sabau, a control theorist whose research focuses on numerical algorithms for large-scale dynamical networks such as the power grid, transportation networks, supply chains and formations of autonomous agents.

Professor Serban Sabau

His five-year project, "Novel Representations for Distributed Control of String Networks in Vehicle Platooning and Supply Chain Management," will investigate the manner in which tiny disturbances become amplified through the dynamics of large networks and propagate into larger-scale, detrimental disruptions.

Previous recent Stevens recipients of the award include computer science professors Samantha Kleinberg, Antonio Nicolosi and Hui Wang; physics professor Stefan Strauf; electrical and computer engineering professors Yingying Chen and Negar Tavassolian; mechanical engineering professors Frank Fisher and Robert Chang; and School of Systems & Enterprises professor Babak Heydari.