DALLAS (SMU) – Three Lyle faculty members have been awarded 2018 Sam Taylor Fellowships, which provide up to $2,000 in funding toward research projects for full-time faculty at United Methodist-related colleges and universities in Texas. Ali Heydari, MinJun Kim, and Jaewook Myung join 22 other distinguished SMU faculty members who were also awarded Fellowships this year.

Applications were evaluated on the significance of the project, clarity of the proposal, professional development of the applicant, the value of the project to the community or nation and the project’s sensitivity to value questions confronting higher education and society.

Ali Heydari, assistant professor, mechanical engineering, submitted a proposal to procure necessary equipment and fund lab assistance to use computational intelligence for optimal switching between therapies to disrupt the evolution process of HIV, so that more individualized and effective treatment protocols can be used for longer patient survival rates.

MinJun Kim, professor, Robert C. Womack Chair in Engineering, mechanical engineering, plans to travel during spring break 2018 with a team of graduate and senior undergraduate students to the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart, Germany. The international team will perform collaborative experiments and share knowledge and expertise relating to the design, fabrication, and testing of biologically-inspired microrobot systems with active propulsion for controlled drug and therapy delivery.

Jaewook Myung, assistant professor, civil and environmental engineering, will evaluate and find viable solutions for the environmental impact of bioplastic microbeads when they are introduced to natural environments after use as personal care products. The funding will support a research study conducted in the lab and in field testing on whether biodegradable microbeads can be an appropriate alternative to the now-outlawed plastic, petroleum-based microbeads.

Fellowships to SMU faculty increased this year to 25, up from 21 recipients last year.

Contact Molly Phillips,, 214-768-1556

About SMU
SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.

About the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering
SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, founded in 1925, is one of the oldest engineering schools in the Southwest. The school offers eight undergraduate and 29 graduate programs, including master’s and doctoral degrees, through the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Computer Science and Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Engineering Management, Information, and Systems; and Mechanical Engineering. Lyle students participate in programs in the unique Deason Innovation Gym, providing the tools and space to work on immersion design projects and competitions to accelerate leadership development and the framework for innovation; the Hart Center for Engineering Leadership, helping students develop nontechnical skills to prepare them for leadership in diverse technical fields; the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education, developing new methodologies for incorporating engineering education into K-12 schools; and the Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity, combining technological innovation with business expertise to address global poverty.


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