Category Archives: Research

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Corn to Cement Research Could Impact Millions

Exciting research into turning corn husks into cement is being conducted by civil engineering Ph.D. student Mark Bediako, who recently received a competitive African research award, the Emerald African Engineering Research Fund Award and John Kevern, UMKC SCE associate professor of civil engineering. Cement is very both expensive and limited in Africa but corn is abundant, especially corn husks which are often burned as trash. Agricultural materials have been shipped from Ghana to Kansas City, where they will be tested for the optimum blend and durability in UMKC’s civil engineering and materials lab and at Ash Grove Cement Company, headquartered in Overland Park. The research could provide millions affordable, durable housing and increase commercial building. For more details, read the complete UMKC Today article, From Corn to Cement.

UM FastTrack Grant Awarded to Professors Hart & Kevern

In early Spring 2014 a provisional patent was filed by UMKC based on civil engineering Associate Professor John Kevern and Assistant Professor Megan Hart’s research on using actively enhanced pervious concrete (AEPC) as a permeable reactive barrier (PRB) for polluted groundwater treatment.  The University of Missouri FastTrack program has recently confirmed funding research by co-PIs Dr. John Kevern and Dr. Megan Hartto turn this research into a licensable technology.  Groundwater is the water source for approximately 50% of the world’s population, and approximately 30% of groundwater is estimated to be contaminated, requiring an actionable technology for remediation.

The project, Enhanced Pervious Concrete as a Permeable Reactive Barrier Technology, is divided into five tasks which will be performed over the course of one year from June 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015.  These tasks will provide the researchers the data and information needed to assemble a prospectus report suitable for dissemination to interested parties. This technology has the potential to replace or supplement the commercial applications of zero valent iron or comparable technology which treats on average 25-50% contaminated groundwater and it will be far less expensive than current techniques.

Our congratulations to Drs. Hart and Kevern!  We look forward to learning more about the results of their research and the commercialization of this technology.

Vijay Kumar Receives Curators’ Professorship


Vijay Kumar, Professor of Computer Science, has received a Curators’ Professorship effective this Fall 2014.  As stated on the awards webpage, “It is the highest and most prestigious academic rank awarded by the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri.  It is awarded to a select few outstanding scholars with established reputations.”    Dr. Kumar is a nationally and internationally-known scholar, specializing in information security, wireless and mobile computing and database systems research with particular emphasis related to cyber security and wireless data dissemination.

His Curators’ Professorship recognizes his lifetime research achievements and his continued research impact as demonstrated by a recent National Science Foundation (NSF) award for his project, A Logic-based Security Framework for Wired and Mobile Perimeter, which examines security through dynamic firewalls.  Dr. Kumar’s prior NSF grants include serving as PI with Co-PI Dr. Margaret Dunham from Southern Methodist University.  He has also received research grants from AFRL (Air Force research Lab) to work on driverless cars, HP laboratories for data warehousing, St. Luke’s research foundation on medical informatics and UMRB on main memory database systems. These grants were related to projects on information security through firewall, data dissemination on wireless channels and mobile computing. Dr. Kumar has authored five technical books which are published by Prentice Hall, John Wiley, and Kluwer.

Our heartiest congratulations to Dr. Vijay Kumar.  We are very proud of him and of his achievements and look forward to learning more about the results of his current research.  His distinguished career has spanned 43 years with 30 of them as a computer science professor at UMKC and our School of Computing and Engineering.

SCE student/faculty researchers win prestigious award for mobile app, WiFi-Honk

With all judges agreeing, the mobile app, WiFi-Honk, developed by SCE faculty and student researchers received the Best Video Award at the ACM Mobisys 2014 conference, a highly selective and premiere conference in mobile computing.  The committee included renowned researchers from academia and industries such as Google and Microsoft Research.

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Feichen Shen, Sashi Saripalle, Kaustubh Dhondge Receive SGS Research Grants

Congratulations to SCE Ph.D. students Feichen Shen, Sashi Saripalle and Kaustubh Dhondge.  They were all selected for prestigious UMKC School of Graduate Studies (SGS) research grants.  This makes four SCE students receiving SGS funding as we announced MD. Nahid Hossain’s research award earlier this month.

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SCE Student Receives UMKC School of Graduate Studies Research Grant


SCE Ph.D. student MD. Nahid Hossain recently received funding for his research, “Radiation Hardened Multilayer Graphene Nanoribbon Flash Memory”.  His project is funded by a $7000 UMKC School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Research Grant.

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Four SCE Women Graduate Students Receive GAF Awards

Four talented UMKC SCE women graduate students have been selected to receive UMKC Women’s Council Graduate Assistant Fund (GAF) Awards.  These competitive awards are based on the merits of their proposed projects and/or scholarly activities. Lean more about how their efforts will be making a difference.   

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Dr. Praveen Rao Awarded Contract with Headquarters Counseling Center

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Dr. Praveen Rao, Associate Professor at the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering, was recently awarded a one-year contract by Headquarters Counseling Center, Inc.

The contract commenced this December with the goal of developing a scalable cloud-based software system to triage mental health patients based on intensive surveys. This is a collaborative work with Drs. Bill Geis and Stanley Edlavitch, professors at the UMKC School of Medicine. Dr. Rao’s graduate students, Anas Katib and Imrul Siddique, will also be involved in this project.

EyeVerify Winner of Global Get in the Ring Competition


EyeVerify recently won the global finals of the “Get in the Ring: The Investment Battle” competition.  The global competition was held on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, just four days after the National competition held in Kansas City, MO.  EyeVerify’s CEO, Toby Rush, traveled to the Netherlands for the International Finals of the competition, which were held at the Hulstkamp Gebouw in Rotterdam.  At the finals, eight startups, including EyeVerify, competed for a grand prize of up to €1,000,000.

Before advancing to the global competition, EyeVerify competed against eight different startups in the “Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash” competition.  The national contest was held Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, with the United States finalists, selected from a pool of 283 startups, vying for the national title.

EyeVerify is a Kansas City, KS startup based on technology developed by UMKC School of Computing and Engineering Associate Professor Dr. Reza Derakhshani.

For more information about the International Competition and a list of the eight international finalists, visit the Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam website.

SCE Faculty Host Regional Security Workshop


Drs. Baek-Young Choi and Deep Medhi, professors at the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering, recently hosted KanSec, a regional security workshop, on Saturday, Nov 2nd at Pierson Auditorium on UMKC’s campus.

The workshop brought together 65 researchers and practitioners from 18 institutions and 7 states. Participants were able to share new developments and discuss ideas pertaining to computer and communication security.  The program also included two keynote speeches, nine paper presentations, an industry panel, and a poster session.

During the workshop, several research projects on cloud and smartphone security were presented, and a panel discussion provided insightful perspectives on preventing next generation DoS (Denial of Service) attacks.