The E²SHI Seed Grant Program supports Johns Hopkins research teams to begin or expand interdisciplinary research projects that address issues related to environment, energy supply and use, economic and ecological sustainability, or their relationship to public health. Browse below to meet the seed grant recipients and learn about their projects.

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Capturing data to improve the energy grid

Project Title: Leveraging Dynamics, Sparsity and Nonlinearities for Secure and Reliable Power Grid Operation

Investigators: Enrique Mallada, René Vidal

Bio-inspired sustainable building design

Project Title: Sustainable building designs inspired from nest building termites: Preliminary study of the aero-thermodynamics of termite mounds

Investigators: Rajat Mittal, Ciaran Harman

Civil society groups and global climate agreements

Project Title: Understanding the role and influence of civil society groups in global climate agreements

Investigators: Naveeda Khan, Rochelle Tobias, Deborah Poole

Bacteria-induced clean water treatment

Project Title: Multiscale investigation of bacterial attachment for bioremediating contaminated groundwater

Investigators: Joelle Frechette, Kai Loon Chen, Zachary Gagnon and German Drazer

Energy innovation for self-powered sensors

Project Title: Harvesting energy from flow-induced flutter of ‘piezoleaves’ for self-powered sensors

Investigators: Rajat Mittal and Sung Hoon Kang

Developing policies on gas vapor recovery

Project Title: Public health impacts of gasoline vapor releases from gas stations

Investigators: Markus Hilpert, Ana Rule, Jian Ni, and Keeve Nachman

Detecting helpful microorganisms

Project Title: A novel integrated microfluidic system for detecting and isolating PPCP-degrading microorganisms

Investigators: Edward Bouwer and Charles Young

Sustainable clean water treatment

Project Title: Probing biofilm-nanoparticle interactions

Investigators: Mike Bevan and Howard Fairbrother

Sustainable energy for the chemical industry

Project Title: Development and characterization of inexpensive, earth-abundant materials for efficient photocatalyzed synthesis

Investigators: Susanna Thon and Art Bragg

Detecting bacterial pathogens

Project Title: Culture-free optoelectronic signaling to detect methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other bacterial pathogens by multidentate antigen-nanoparticle agglomerization from natural and designed intermolecular interactions

Investigators: Ellen Silbergeld and Howard Katz

Increasing clean cookstove usage

Project Title: Challenges to improved cookstove adoption in urban Kenya

Investigators: Anita Shankar, Shyam Biswal, Thomas Sussan and Peter Winch

Relationship between human nature and plastics

Project Title: Plastic materials and the plasticity of aspiration in contemporary America

Investigators: Anand Pandian

Detecting poultry waste

Project Title: Detecting poultry waste in the Pocomoke River watershed

Investigators: Ellen Silbergeld and Grace Brush

Converting carbon dioxide into new fuel

Project Title: Designing nanoscale alloy catalysts to reduce carbon dioxide

Investigators: Tim Mueller and Chao Wang

Health effects of extreme heat on asthma

Project Title: Health effects of extreme heat on asthma

Investigators: Meredith McCormack, Roger Peng, and Darryn Waugh

Making Baltimore bicycle friendly

Project Title: Making Baltimore bicycle friendly through a public health and systems engineering analysis

Investigators: Sauleh Siddiqu, Kavi Bhalla, and David Love

Soil response to climate change

Project Title: Response of the soil ecosystem to the changing climate: in situ observations in deciduous forests

Investigators: Katalin Szlavecz, Andreas Terzis and Benjamin Zaitchik

Detecting hazardous risks with sensor devices

Project Title: Agricultural and industrial ammonia (NH₃) monitoring with organic sensor circuits

Investigators: Howard Katz and Patrick Breysse

China’s carbon footprint

Project Title: The visible hand meets the market: assessing China’s two-pronged carbon reduction strategy

Investigators: Carla Freeman and Bo Kong

Detecting E. coli in drinking water

Project Title: Real-time, sensitive detection of Escherichia coli in drinking water

Investigators: Rebecca Schulman and Kai Loon Chen

Gathering data on cookstove black carbon emissions

Project Title: Assessing the contribution of black carbon generated by cookstoves across Southern Nepal and Northern India

Investigators: Patrick Breysse, James Tielsch, Ben Zaitchik, and Frank Curriero

Water filtration using carbon nanotubes

Project Title: Membrane-based water treatment using functionalized carbon nanotubes

Investigators: Haiou Huang, Howard Fairbrother and Joseph Jacangelo

Catalysts for efficient fuel cells

Project Title: Bio-inspired hybrid porous nanocomposites for catalyzing oxygen reduction

Investigators: Jonah Erlebacher and David Goldberg

Integrating population, health and environment

Project Title: Models to integrate environment, livestock production and health in rural Ethiopia

Investigators: Peter Winch, Ben Zaitchik, Ariel Greenberg, and Caitlin Kennedy

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.
— Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732