Kansas NSF EPSCoR announces seven awards for faculty to initiate resiliency research in Kansas.

Each award of up to $50,000 supports a year of research and education efforts. While faculty from all universities in Kansas are eligible to apply, this year’s awardees are from Kansas State University, the University of Kansas, and Wichita State University.

The seven projects span a range of topics—from flood forecasting to supply chain logistics—all with an eye toward building resilience to large-scale disasters.

Five of the award recipients won Research and Education (REI) Awards. A panel of internal judges reviewed the eight proposal submissions and selected three from WSU, one from K-State, and one from KU.

Two assistant professors won First Awards. These seed grants help junior faculty initiate novel research and build grant writing skills. Of the four submissions, two were selected for funding by external experts in the field. Since 2001, Kansas NSF EPSCoR has invested in 112 assistant professors with its First Award program. Awardees hail from five universities in Kansas. Many have gone on to win prestigious federal grants and achieve national recognition—two key metrics of the program’s success at building lasting research capacity in Kansas.

Funding for the 2023 awards comes from the ARISE project, which stands for “Adaptive and Resilient Infrastructures driven by Social Equity.” The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) launched ARISE in 2022 with co-funding from the Kansas Board of Regents.

NSF EPSCoR spurs innovation and workforce development in traditionally underfunded regions of the country—like Kansas. For every dollar it invests, the State gets back more than double that amount in non-EPSCoR funding.

112 first awards pie chart

2023 Award Recipients

In alphabetical order

 First Awards

  • “Distributed green ammonia generation for resilient energy storage and fertilizer production in rural communities,” by Davood Babaei Pourkargar, Assistant Professor, Tim Taylor Department of Chemical Engineering, Kansas State University
  • “Data driven decomposition-based approach for resilient supply chain logistics,” by Ashesh Sinha, Assistant Professor, Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Kansas State University

Research and Education (REI) Awards

  • “Virtual and Augmented Reality Technologies for Enhancing Disaster Risk Awareness in Vulnerable Communities,” Shakil Bin Kashem, Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning, Kansas State University
  • “An Institutional and Behavioral Design Approach to Improving the Use of Flood Forecast Information for the Kansas City Metro Portion of the Missouri River Basin,” Christopher Koliba, Stene Distinguished Professor, School of Public Affairs and Administration, University of Kansas
  • “Understanding and Mitigating Bias of AI-based Natural Disaster Assessment Models for Rescue Coordination and Resiliency,” Ajita Rattani, Assistant Professor, School of Computing, Wichita State University
  • “Modeling Electric-vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Resilience Using a Socio-economic Approach,” Ehsan Salari, Associate Professor, Department of Industrial, Systems, and Manufacturing Engineering, Wichita State University
  • “Integrating Social Equity into Infrastructure Maintenance Planning Towards Resiliency,” Wujun Si, Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial, Systems, and Manufacturing Engineering, Wichita State University


Research by Kansans for Kansans