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Two Swanson School Projects Secure 2020 Pitt Seed Funding

Click here to read Pittwire’s original story about all eleven awards.

PITTSBURGH (July 8, 2020) … The University of Pittsburgh created the Pitt Seed Grant to support faculty and staff proposals that advance the six goals in the Plan for Pitt. Eleven projects, including two from the Swanson School of Engineering, received funding in the 2020 award cycle.

“Our call for proposals received a great response—and I congratulate this year’s grantees. Many of the projects funded this year reflect our continued commitment to social justice and active outreach to communities in need,” said Ann E. Cudd, provost and senior vice chancellor. “We have committed support to projects that reflect our deep interest in further exploring ways to evaluate teaching effectiveness, as well as to probe innovations in both the advising and remote learning spaces. All of this is important work—and I am very excited to support these extremely interesting initiatives.”

The Swanson School’s Department of Bioengineering received two awards for projects that enhance research collaborations and extend student experiences beyond the classroom. 

“I want to congratulate Brandon and Joe on receiving the Pitt Seed Funding. Engineering at its core involves designing solutions to real-world problems,” said Sanjeev Shroff, distinguished professor and Gerald E. McGinnis Chair of Bioengineering. “One of the critical aspects of learning is the ability to apply scientific and technical knowledge to creative design, and both of these projects will provide our students hands-on experiences and the opportunity to apply their knowledge outside of the classroom setting.”

The winning bioengineering proposal summaries are:

XProjects Applied Research XPloration
Brandon Barber, BioE design, innovation and outreach coordinator

The purpose of the XProjects Applied Research XPloration (XARX) is to further develop the Pitt XProject program’s internal research collaborations and explore new applications of ongoing research, while simultaneously providing students with co-curricular design/engineering experiences that go beyond the classroom. The diverse multidisciplinary teams employ a rigorous process and a proven suite of tools to navigate fast-paced project work, all while gaining practice with project management, prototyping and negotiating stakeholder-client relationships. This innovative approach to design education also creates an environment where students can gain the experience they need to more confidently approach and define complex problems.

Classroom to Community: Designing and Inventing for Real-World Impact
Joseph Samosky, assistant professor

Classroom to Community is for students who want to creatively design and invent solutions for real-world problems and needs. Space, resources and mentorship will be provided for students to learn powerful human-centered design tools and methods, build bridges with community partners and create diverse teams from different backgrounds, majors and schools. Together we will co-create an engaging, multidisciplinary experience for students to explore, envision, share and learn from faculty partners and each other as they translate their ideas into something new in the world that benefits others. The project’s ultimate goals are to foster a culture of innovation, agency and service; empower students to discover their creative potential; and become agents of positive change.

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Contact: Leah Russell