Research and Innovation Digital Newsletter December 2021


Welcome to the December edition of the ORI newsletter. There are several items to which I’d like to draw your attention. First, the Research Policies Council has raised the limits for FRTF and PPPE. Second, it is time to consider submitting a FRACAA proposal to fund preliminary work to develop an external proposal. Third, ORI will switch to Cayuse eRA for proposal submissions in January. Please look over the newsletter for more information regarding these items and others.

This month, ORI highlights our second WMU researcher, Dr. Shameek Bhattacharjee, an assistant professor of computer science. Bhattacharjee’s area of work is in computer security, broadly, with applications to the electrical power grid. Consider talking with him regarding possible collaborations.

As I have in previous newsletters, I invite you to show me your work. I am very interested in learning about the diversity of research and scholarship occurring on campus. Please contact Kelli Bond to schedule a time to talk.


Steven M. Carr, Ph.D.
Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation

Happy holidays from our office to yours!

Video of ORI Holiday 2021

Meet our Researchers

Headshot of Shameek Bhattacharjee

Dr. Shameek Bhattacharjee

My research involves building low-cost data science and artificial intelligence-inspired frameworks for detection of cyberattacks or dangerous events caused by non-malicious incidents in smart electrical grids, connected transportation systems and smart homes.

A second aspect of my research is to build energy-efficient, low-cost communication infrastructure and mechanisms that help connect digital components in a digitized infrastructure that have the potential to especially benefit rural communities. We developed a novel theory of anomaly-based attack detection that can detect orchestrated electricity theft/other cyberattacks that violate data integrity using a controlled emulation of a real microgrid in Austin, Texas, and Dublin, Ireland.

My research is currently funded by NSF, Stryker Corporation and FRACAA. Currently, two Ph.D. students, one M.S. student and one undergraduate researcher are supported by this funding. 

My research in the area of energy-efficient, low-cost networking and smart electrical grid security offers opportunities for cross disciplinary collaboration between computer sciences and electrical engineering departments. This research, while technologically feasible, often is difficult to implement due to policy hurdles and civil laws. Therefore, there is potential to work with researchers in the School of Public Affairs and Administration.

FRTF, PPPE award updates set
The Research Policy Council has updated the internal 2021-22 funding awards of Faculty Research Travel Fund (FRTF) and the Publication of Papers and Exhibition of Creative Works (PPPE). The FRTF amount has been raised to $1,600 with a maximum of two trips per fiscal year. The PPPE has also been raised to $1,000 per fiscal year. Please visit our website for more information.

Submit your FRACAA proposals
FRACAA proposals can be submitted in InfoReady until Friday, Feb. 4.  Find a recording of the FRACAA workshop and other helpful information. This year we have a mentors group willing to read over proposals and make suggestions. Faculty in this group are Dr. Kristina Lemmer, Dr. Andre Venter, Lori Brown and Dr. Manuel Bautista. Feel free to contact them directly for assistance on your proposal.

Cayuse and human subjects research is live
A reminder that Cayuse has gone live. We’ve had several IRB workshops. If you weren’t able to attend, please view the video recording. Find information to be better acquainted with all of the research modules. Additional guidance will continue to be added.

Cayuse eRA platform for pre-award begins in January
Implementation of the Cayuse Electronic Research Administration (eRA) platform will begin on Monday, Jan. 10, and replace the legacy PAF system. Virtual training was provided earlier this fall and the recording can be found on the ORI Cayuse website, as well as office hours for research officers for additional virtual training opportunities. Contact Jamie Baker for questions.

Spring Convocation reminder
Mark your calendars for the second annual Virtual Spring Convocation scheduled for Friday, April 15. As the date gets closer, more information will be available along with a link to attend.

Submit your graduate award winners
Academic departments are encouraged to select their 2021-22 winners for Graduate Teaching Effectiveness and Graduate Research and Creative Scholar Awards. Visit the GTE web form or GRCS web form to identify the department-level winners with the Graduate College.

Graduate College Research and Travel/Virtual Conference grants awardees announced
Students received an email notification in November with the results from the Graduate Research Grant and Travel/Virtual Conference Grant applications for the fall award cycle. The spring 2022 online application will open in late January 2022. View the list of recipients.

Graduate students are encouraged to submit their research articles, book reviews, letters to the editor, artwork, digital photography, short stories and poems to The Hilltop Review: A Journal of Western Michigan University Graduate Student Research, a peer-reviewed journal publication of the Graduate Student Association. All disciplines are encouraged to participate with prizes awarded for the top submissions. Learn more. The deadline for the fall submission is Friday, Dec. 31. Spring 2022 submission will be open on Monday, Jan. 17.

Gratitude for team member
We are losing another member of our team. It is with a heavy heart that we are saying goodbye to Steve Weber who has taken a job with Charles River Laboratories and will be leaving on Wednesday, Jan. 5. Please reach out to Steve with your warm wishes. We’re going to miss him!