Funding and Awards

Awarded University of Michigan-Flint START Research Initiative $15, 000 – Augmenting Federated Machine Learning with Sensor Fusion for Autonomous Underwater Robotic Teams

Awarded University of Michigan-Flint Research and Creativity Award $19,000. Project title: Towards a Personalized Multicultural Emotive Learning Companions to Provide Safe Spaces for Discussions About Race and Ethnicity

Awarded National Science Foundation (2022-2025) (NSF) $600,000  CISE Collaborative proposal An Edge-Based Approach to Robust Multi-Robot Systems in Dynamic Environments. Role PI for UMF $95,000

Awarded American Society for Engineering Education (2022) (ASEE) Pre-proposal Mini-Grant $10,000 CyBR-MSI 2022-004 An Edge-Based Approach to Robust Multi-Robot Systems in Dynamic Environments. Role Co-PI

Great Lakes Fishery Commission (2022) $20,000 Reconnaissance: tracking outmigration of sea lampreys as they seek their first host: Role Consultant on sensor payloads for Autonomous Vehicle.

Contract Award National Science Foundation  (2020 -2021)  Fort Valley State University HRD Catalyst Project: Integrated Learning of Sleep Science $5000 Role Consultant on Study of Cognitive Load associated with Agile Software Development

Contract Award  $15,000 Direct Sponsor: Michigan State University. Prime Sponsor: The State of Michigan Department of Education. FlintEats - Project to foster healthy eating for Flint residents through a multi-platform mobile app (2019)

Awarded University of Michigan-Flint Office of Sponsored Research - Research and Creativity Award (RCA) $19K for 1 year (2018)

Awarded access and use of high performance computing cluster by the Hasso-Plattner-Institut to perform work on massively parallel system coordination applied to autonomous UV swarms.(2017)

Awarded University of Michigan- Ann Arbor - National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID). Title: Assessing the Relationship Between Early Mathematics Preparation and Subsequent STEM Performance for Middle School Girls in Michigan. $3K Role: PI (2017)

Awarded - $150K. Title: Mapping Critical Data for Flint Water Crisis.Role: PI Collaboration with Dr Abernathy in UM - Ann Arbor and Google Personnel  (2016)

Awarded University of Michigan-Flint Office of Sponsored Research - Research and Creativity Award (RCA) $11,157 for 1 year (2015)

Awarded Michigan Campus Compact and Michigan Nonprofit Association - $5000 Project Title: “An Exploration of Inhibitors to Educational Access and Retention within Michigan's Underrepresented Group’s STEM Higher Education” (2015)

Awarded University of Michigan-Flint Office of Sponsored Research - Research and Creativity Award (RCA) $14,487 for 1 year (2014)

Community Service

Our group develops software for nonprofit organizations in the Flint area. The project will target and address real and substantial needs.

International Service

Canadian Foundation for Innovation – Computer Science project reviewer 2020

National Service 

US National Science Foundation - EHR REU Project Review Panelist 2020

US National Science Foundation - Member of the NSF College of Reviewers for Undergraduate Education  2019 - 2022.

US National Science Foundation – STEM IUSE 2018

US Department of Energy – Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPAe) 2015, 2018, 2021

US National Science Foundation – STEM IUSE 2015

Outreach Projects

In concert with Google and UM -Ann Arbor (Dr Abernathy and the Michigan data science team) the development of the Mywater-Flint software platform as Principal Investigator. See web app MyWater-Flint or for Android Phones. IOS version has been developed and awaiting deployment. The generic platform source and documentation is available upon request to Municipalities with similar issues.

This work has been featured in :

ABC News

Google Zeitgeist Conference

The Associated Press

Christian Science Monitor



My past graduate student Miyako is a Global citizen 2017 based on her outstanding effort with this project.

Research Projects

Self-Adaptive Model-Based Control of Cyber-Physical Systems

Target Application 1: Microgrid Energy Management

Background on Microgrids: The changes in energy consumption patterns are being dictated by rising energy costs and higher demand. These changes manifest themselves as additional requirements of the legacy electrical grid. The United States Department of Energy and similar entities across the globe have been tasked to upgrade the single largest interconnected machine on the planet, the electrical grid. The existing grid, heavily reliant on fossil fuels, has effectively remained unchanged since the early twentieth century and is reaching its functional limits. The smart grid is seen as the successor to the legacy grid. A core component central to realizing the smart grid concept is the microgrid.

Microgrids are atomic self contained energy grids which conceptually should monitor their consumption and co-generate their own power. As such, microgrids may operate in grid connected or in off grid mode. The ability to operate in isolation of the macrogrid requires Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) which constitutes Distributed Storage(DS) and Distributed Generation (DG). DERs provide the ability to leverage renewable energy efficient technologies to flatten peaks in consumption by infusing DERs at intervals of high consumption. With the advent of this conceptual model, consumers may set energy use policies leading to an increased awareness, consumer participation, and eventually a limitation on peak usage.

The impact of microgrids is a key aspect to realizing the goals of the smartgrid. There has been significant effort in the research community to address energy management within the microgrid domain. A prominent definition and the one our work is based on is the CERTS microgrid concept (CM). Distributed energy management is a paramount concern. Our research targets increasing robustness, normalizing quality of service, and reducing communication traffic within the microgrid using model transformation and synthesis.

See Mgrid on this website.


 Application of a Swarm of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles to Identify Invasive Species in the Great Lakes. 

This project relies on, and tests the theoretical groundings pertaining to sensing and communication underwater. This application context allows us to maintain generality of the swarm behavior algorithms. 

Federated Machine Learning for Supporting Heterogeneous Robotic Teams in Humanitarian Disaster Response Environments

The use of robots to assist first responders in disaster response has been seen increasing adoption as the underlying technologies mature. They are inherently adept at real-time knowledge acquisition and are able to perform a myriad of pre-stabilization tasks within hazardous environments in lieu of jeopardizing human lives. From a humanitarian perspective, time constrained strategies are required to allow for the automation (robot team) to collaborate independently to facilitate human decision making by providing situational awareness (what is happening and when). Furthermore, the cognitive load placed on the human must be carefully managed; too much information and the human becomes overwhelmed, too little, and the human becomes over-reliant on the autonomy and becomes complacent. Both lead to poor decision-making, with the potential loss of lives.