Rowan presents 2008 Research and Creative Activity Awards


Rowan University will present the 2008 Research and Creative Activity Awards on Friday, April 18, at 3:30 p.m. in Room 221 of the Chamberlain Student Center.

Rowan University will present the 2008 Research and Creative Activity Awards on Friday, April 18, at 3:30 p.m. in Room 221 of the Chamberlain Student Center. The winners, announced by the Provost's Office, are:

  • William L. Green (Chemistry and Biochemistry): Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity
  • George D. Lecakes, Jr. (Electrical and Computer Engineering): Award for Excellence in Graduate Research and Creative Activity
  • Dr. Robi Polikar (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering): Faculty/Staff Research and Creative Activity Achievement Award

These awards were established to recognize the very best research and creative activity at the University by undergraduate students, graduate students and a faculty or staff member.

Green, of Port Norris, is a senior majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. In collaboration with Dr. Kandalam Ramanujachary, he has worked in two primary areas of research: multiferroics and nanopartical synthesis. His work has led to the synthesis of several new chemical compounds with advanced magnetic properties. These compounds have many potential uses that range from medicine (drugs) to information technology (computer memory). This work has been reported in three publications in prestigious peer-reviewed journals as well as several presentations, including an international conference in Singapore. In addition to his research at Rowan, Green has conducted research at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, India. He has received the Edward Morley Award for Excellence in Scientific Measurement and is a Rowan Presidential Scholar. Following graduation he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry.

Lecakes' research has been in the application of virtual reality to integrated systems health management environments. The Glassboro resident has applied this research to monitoring the performance of a rocket engine test stand at the NASA-Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Lecakes received a prestigious NASA Graduate Student Research Program award to pursue this research. This research has led to two peer-reviewed conference presentations and a journal article that is currently in review. Lecakes currently is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Imaging and Virtual Reality Laboratory in Rowan's College of Engineering. In this position, he leads a team of undergraduate student research assistants in projects sponsored by NASA and the U.S. Navy. Lecakes is a graduate of Rowan University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. After graduation, he plans to continue his work in informational visualization.

Dr. Robi Polikar, of Washington Township, holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and biomedical engineering from Iowa State University. He has been a faculty member at Rowan University since 2001.

Polikar's main areas of research are in signal processing and computational intelligence, along with their applications in biomedical engineering. He has applied this research to work on automated early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. This research has the potential to enable earlier and more accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, which can lead to earlier medical intervention, thereby reducing the rate of disease progression and enhancing the quality of life both for the patients and their caregivers.

Polikar and his colleagues have recently joined in a partnership with a private company to further develop this technology. In collaboration with researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, Polikar has received major grants from the National Institutes of Health and the State of Pennsylvania.

In addition, Polikar was a recipient of the prestigious Career Award from the National Science Foundation for his work on combining the information provided from multiple expert systems for automated machine learning applications.

Polikar has 97 accepted or published professional publications and presentations to his credit, 81 of them since joining Rowan University. This work features four edited volumes and book and encyclopedia chapters, including an entry on "Pattern Recognition in Bioengineering" in the Wiley Encyclopedia of Biomedical Engineering, 18 refereed journal publications, 15 papers in edited volumes and 60 peer-reviewed conference presentations.

In addition to his research activities, Polikar maintains an active teaching schedule. He has taught courses on signal processing, wavelets, computational intelligence and biomedical engineering. He has involved more than 35 undergraduate and 12 graduate students in his research efforts through engineering clinics. He has included 32 students as authors in research papers. Dr. Dianne Dorland, dean of he College of Engineering, said, "Dr. Polikar's work in electrical and computer engineering has had significant impact on the continuing development of the graduate program as well as outreach to our industrial partners."

Polikar has served as the chair of he University research committee and as a reviewer for a number of journals and for the National Science Foundation. He is an active member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He was recently elevated to "senior member" status by IEEE, based on his work and nominations of other senior members, a distinction carried by less than 8 percent of IEEE's almost 400,000 members worldwide.