WMU engineer receives ADVANCE proof of concept grant

Contact: Jeanne Baron
Headshot, Dr. Daniel Kujawski


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A Western Michigan University faculty member was one of three people selected in March to receive a spring 2018 award from the ADVANCE Grant Proof of Concept Fund.

Dr. Daniel Kujawski, WMU professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, is among the five people who have received an ADVANCE Grant so far this spring. The grants provide an incentive for faculty members with early stage technologies at Michigan public universities to engage with their school's technology transfer office to advance their technologies toward commercialization.

This funding program is administered by Michigan State University and the Michigan Strategic Fund through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The state awards grants of up to $40,000, and each grant must be matched dollar for dollar by the recipient's university.

Kujawski, who directs WMU's Fatigue and Fracture Laboratory, received $24,946 from the MEDC as well as from WMU for a total of $49,892. He is using the funds to push forward a project of his that improves prediction of the fatigue properties of materials.

His prediction methodology will lower the expense of providing designers with material properties over the lifecycle of manufactured parts. The technique promises higher reliability from nondestructive testing and analysis.

Kujawski has been a WMU faculty member since 1996. He previously served as a senior research associate and lecturer at the University of Alberta, Canada; lecturer and senior lecturer at Warsaw Technical University in Poland; and visiting scientist at Ecole Polytechnique in France.

The other spring awards went to faculty members at Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University. During the ADVANCE grant program's first round of funding this past November, two of the five recipients were WMU faculty members: Dr. Massood Atashbar, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Dr. Pavel Ikonomov, associate professor of engineering design, manufacturing and management systems.

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