Two MAE faculty selected for the 2023 GRO cohort

Posted: March 10, 2023

Two Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering faculty Shaurya Prakash and Jonathan Song, who are both associate professors in mechanical and aerospace engineering, have been selected as part of the Enterprise for Research, Innovation and Knowledge’s 2023 Growing Research Opportunities (GRO) Academy after a competitive selection process.

The GRO Academy is professional development program helps researchers develop the skills and confidence to work on and lead effective interdisciplinary research teams. Only 25 faculty from across the university were selected to participate in the 2023 cohort.

“The Office of Knowledge Enterprise supports faculty in becoming research leaders,” said Julie P. Martin, assistant vice president for talent and team development in the Office of Knowledge Enterprise. “Federal funders are increasingly emphasizing research that is interdisciplinary, convergent or collaborative. We’re offering GRO Academy to facilitate participants’ ability to effectively lead interdisciplinary research teams that can tackle today’s complex problems.”

Jonathan Song

Song, who is the principal investigator of the Microsystems for Mechanobiology and Medicine Laboratory and Co-Director of the Center for Cancer Engineering, sees this as a valuable experience that can applied to his research efforts.

“For the past few years, I have been serving as co-director of the Center for Cancer Engineering-CURES,” Song said. “This role has provided a very rich experience for me in facilitating cross-disciplinary team-building and strategic planning of scientific, educational, and outreach initiatives. OSU is a very large institution, and I will take this opportunity to learn more about other such initiatives at this university.”

Overall, Song sees this as an opportunity to grow.

“I see this as a reflection of university’s commitment in nurturing the faculty who are who are stepping into new leadership roles or are aspiring to lead new initiatives,” he said.

Prakash, the director Microsystems and Nanosystems Laboratory, sees his part in the cohort as an opportunity to become a better research leader.

Shaurya Prakash

“The current cohort comprises faculty across disciplines, ranks, and backgrounds,” Prakash said. “Interacting with individuals with such intellectual and experiential diversity provides unique insights to research problems. For me, learning from other disciplines is important as my lab focuses on trans-disciplinary problems that require innovative engineering solutions.”

Prakash felt humbled by his selection.

“Selection to the GRO academy recognizes me as a research leader at Ohio State,” he said. “Moreover, the GRO academy will provide an opportunity to learn about leadership and team science principles that are critical to building strong collaborative teams for solving demanding challenges facing modern human societies. Therefore, I am humbled and feel privileged by this recognition.”

Prakash acknowledged all the help he has received during his career.

“All research is collaborative between students, faculty, and staff,” Prakash said. “My team with collaborators from various colleges at Ohio State, the amazing research and technical staff, and our students deserve my deepest thanks.”

The 2023 cohort will be the first cohort in-person and includes about 30 hours of program participation, including: a kickoff retreat, weekly in-person sessions and weekly virtual small group discussions, according to the cohort announcement. Highly interactive sessions will be led by national and international experts in interdisciplinary research at Ohio State and across the nation. As the lessons build off of each other, participants will ultimately come away from the course with a three- to five-year research plan and the toolkit to put the plan in motion.

This is the second cohort for GRO Academy with the inaugural cohort being in 2021. MAE professor Carlos Castro was a part of the inaugural cohort.