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Springboard Awards fund innovation
Researchers across the School of Engineering received Tufts Springboard Awards to fund collaborative research projects.
Each semester, the Tufts Springboard Awards fund a handful of promising projects across the university. Supported by the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, and Tufts Medical Center, the awards stimulate high impact research, scholarship, and educational initiatives that have an explicit plan leading to extramural funding or other outcomes that influence research, scholarship, clinical, educational outcomes, and/or policy. Moreover, the awards further the university’s priorities as an R1 research-focused institution, and, in keeping with the university’s commitment to being an anti-racist institution, special consideration is given to research, scholarship, and educational projects that focus on racial inequities and/or promoting anti-racist interventions.
Three faculty members from the School of Engineering — Associate Professor Fahad Dogar of the Department of Computer Science, Associate Professor Valencia Koomson of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Professor Daniele Lantagne of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering — each won a Tufts Springboard Award in the Fall 2022 cycle to fund their respective research projects.
Associate Professor Fahad Dogar of the Department of Computer Science earned funding for his project, “Using Augmented Reality for Autistic Contexts.” Working with Assistant Professor Eileen Crehan of the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study & Human Development and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs in the Tisch College of Civic Life Peter Levine, Dogar and team will develop a customizable augmented reality application to support autistic people in therapeutic and educational environments.
Associate Professor Valencia Koomson of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering received a Springboard Award for her project titled “Development of a Race-agnostic Pulse Oximeter Device.” Research into pulse oximeters has shown them to be less effective for patients with darker skin. Koomson’s work on improving pulse oximeters has been featured on NPR, Stat, and on Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien. The Springboard Award supports Koomson as she continues to develop technology to rectify this disparity.
Professor Daniele Lantagne of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is part of a team working to address plastic waste and flooding in Kampala, Uganda. Led by Professor Justin Hollander of the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Lantagne, along with Henry J. Leir Professor of Global Migration Karen Jacobsen and William R. Moomaw Professor of International Environment and Resource Policy Melissa McCracken, both of The Fletcher School, will study the impacts of plastic pollution on the community and develop a recycling system that can be sustainably implemented in informal settlements.
Whether through enhancing therapeutic methods for autistic people, improving the accuracy of pulse oximeters for patients with darker skin, or creating sustainable solutions for a community, all three projects share a goal of bettering the quality of life for their target community. The breadth of projects reflects the range of research areas within the School of Engineering and embody the school’s mission to discover, develop, and disseminate new technologies and innovations that can enhance the well-being and sustainability of society.
Department:Civil and Environmental Engineering ,  Computer Science ,  Electrical and Computer Engineering