FAMU – First HBCU to Win Award

A Florida A&M University (FAMU) professor has received an Air Force Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) Award. The award to Jamel Ali, Ph.D., marks the first YIP award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) to a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), the agency announced. An assistant professor of chemical and biomedical engineering in the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, Ali received the $450,000 three-year grant for his proposal, “Self-assembled Swimmers for Nanoscale Actuation and Sensing,” which is at the intersection of microbiology, fluid mechanics, biophysics, nanotechnology, and robotics. Ali leads the Nanobio Materials and Robotics group, located in the National High Magnetic Field Lab, in Tallahassee. His unit designs small scale biologically-inspired machines – or nanorobots – that can be wirelessly controlled and harness the actuation capabilities of microorganisms. Ali is one of 36 scientists and engineers from 30 research institutions and businesses who submitted winning research proposals through the Air Force’s Young Investigator Research Program. AFOSR announced $16.2 million in grants on Nov. 5. This year, AFOSR received more than 175 YIP proposals. The objective of the program is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering. FAMU News

Professor Ali, center, surrounded by students.