Engineering Professors Recognized as “Rising Stars” in Florida

Engineering Professors Recognized as “Rising Stars” in Florida
Two professors from the College of Engineering have been named recipients of the "Rising Stars" award by the Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine of Florida (ASEMFL), an organization that unites distinguished scholars working in Florida.

Among the 12 researchers selected statewide, biomedical engineer Ashutosh Agarwal was acknowledged for his work in translating novel organ-on-chip platforms. These platforms integrate biology with microtechnology to simulate essential aspects of human physiology. Agarwal was also recognized for his efforts in fostering inclusive excellence and fostering collaborative engineering initiatives at the Desai Sethi Urology Institute and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Agarwal expressed his dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, stating, "I lead several DEI initiatives, including outreach to Miami Dade County’s foster youth, sponsored research internships for black undergraduates, and faculty recruitment efforts for underrepresented minorities and women candidates. The Rising Star recognition validates these efforts and highlights the College of Engineering's leadership in these areas."

Additionally, Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering professor Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos was honored for his research on understanding the mechanisms of tensegrity structures. His work contributes to innovative architectural designs that are remarkably resilient and sustainable. Rhode-Barbarigos is actively engaged in exploring the mechanical behavior of tensegrity structures and pioneering new applications in civil engineering.

Rhode-Barbarigos shared his excitement about his research, supported by an NSF CAREER award, saying, "My work involves analyzing and designing structures using a bio-inspired approach that combines topology definition and form finding through mathematics and structural morphology."

Ashutosh and Rhode-Barbarigos were selected among nominated researchers at universities from across the state. Honoring the state’s rising stars in science, engineering and medicine is a new feature of ASEMFL’s annual meeting program, now in its fifth year.