• Grants, honors & game-changing research continue Baylor’s academic momentum

    Baylor University physical therapy researchers Shane Koppenhaver and Laurel Proulx at work

    Among research universities, Baylor is distinct — a Christian R1 university. Faculty are engaged in high-level research that addresses challenges in health, engineering, and other fields. Solving these problems is the ultimate goal, but along the way, Baylor researchers are competing for — and winning — competitive grants that other top institutions strive to attain.

    Here are just a few recent examples of significant projects where you’ll find Baylor faculty and students hard at work:

    — Defense Manufacturing: If a piece of a military plane or helicopter breaks down, it can be out of commission for a long time. The advanced materials that comprise many of the vehicles and products used in aerospace and transportation take advanced work to fix when they break. Enter Dr. Paul Allison, professor of mechanical engineering, and Dr. Brian Jordon, the Kenneth and Celia Carlile Chair in Materials Science. They’re working to advance a technology called Friction Stir Additive Manufacturing, which would make repairs much more rapid, inexpensive and sustainable. The duo earned a $15 million appropriation to do this work in Baylor’s Point-of-Need Innovations (PONI) Center.

    — Metals in Extreme Conditions: Dr. Garritt Tucker, the Eula Mae and John Baugh Chair in Physics, also works in the PONI Center, but with his own area of focus. He looks at metallic alloys used in extreme conditions — for example, space — and seeks to improve their performance or create new materials entirely. Tucker and his students are part of a $12.5 million partnership with other universities and research labs to focus on the performance of materials in space, high temperatures, radiation and more to advance the ability of material use in abnormal conditions.

    — (Near) Zero Emission Combustion: What if waste could be converted to energy? And what if it could do so with near zero emissions? In short, communities’ abilities to cut down on waste and create energy could be greatly enhanced. Dr. Lulin Jiang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, has created a fuel injector which demonstrates “transformative potential” in doing just that. She earned a National Science Foundation grant last fall, and this spring was accepted into an NSF program designed to move that research beyond the laboratory.

    — Improved Care for Women in Service: At the Department of Defense, ensuring that women in service have access to elite healthcare was worth a $2.5 million investment in the work of two Baylor professors. Dr. Shane Koppenhaver (MPT ’98), clinical professor of physical therapy, and Dr. Laurel Proulx, clinical assistant professor of clinical therapy, (pictured above) have developed a novel approach to support women suffering from pelvic pain, which impacts one of every four women in service. Their approach utilizes advanced ultrasound imaging technology, which could provide more access to care and more information about the nature of the treatment, to help service members heal and return to duty more quickly.

    These are just a few examples of the many found throughout campus of Baylor faculty conducting top-tier work and being recognized by the most influential organizations across research and industry to advance their research into tangible solutions — with plenty more to come!

    Sic ’em, Baylor researchers!