Sethuraman panchanathan

Arizona State University researcher Sethuraman Panchanathan received a $3 million award from the National Science Foundation. ( photo)

Arizona State University announced that university researcher Sethuraman Panchanathan has been awarded with $3 million from the National Science Foundation.

The award is part of the NSF’s Research Traineeship program, which supports training for the next generation of scientific leaders who develop the skills necessary to tackle complex societal problems, the university said.

Panchanathan’s work will focus on citizen-centered smart cities and smart living.

“We are proud that NSF selected us for this highly competitive award to foster future leaders who shape smart, accessible cities and living environments,” Panchanathan, executive vice president of Knowledge Enterprise Development and chief research and innovation officer at ASU, said in a statement.

“This award puts us in the league of institutions such as Stanford University and University of Texas-Austin to help advance transdisciplinary education, research and practice,” the Indian American researcher added.

The NSF Research Traineeship program recently awarded 17 projects, totaling $51 million, to develop and implement graduate education traineeship models in STEM fields. The awards will help train the next generation of scientific leaders to develop the skills necessary to tackle complex societal problems.

NRT projects train students to work in these convergent spaces. Examples of specific areas of research include: integrating technology and computational approaches at the nexus of food, energy and water systems; building stakeholder-engaged natural resources management approaches; increasing the resiliency of rural areas and agricultural systems; designing user-centered, smart engineering solutions; and fostering discovery and innovation in cyber-physical systems, according to the foundation.

Panchanathan was the founding director of the School of Computing and Informatics and was instrumental in founding the Biomedical Informatics Department at ASU. He also served as the chair of the computer science and engineering department.

He founded the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing at ASU. CUbiC’s flagship project iCARE, for individuals who are blind and visually impaired, won the Governor’s Innovator of the Year-Academia Award in November 2004.

In 2014, Panchanathan was appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. National Science Board, where he is the former chair of the Committee on Strategy. He was appointed by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, his bio said.

Panchanathan is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, where he is also vice president for membership and strategic initiatives. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Society of Optical Engineering.

He is currently serving as the chair of the Council on Research within the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

Panchanathan was the editor-in-chief of the IEEE Multimedia Magazine and is also an editor/associate editor of many other journals and transactions, the bio said.

Panchanathan holds a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Ottawa in Canada; an M.Tech in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras; a B.E. in electronics and communication engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; and a B.Sc. in physics from the University of Madras in India.

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