College of Engineering News Room

Ashwin Parthasarathy of Electrical Engineering Receives NSF CAREER Award

Ashwin Parthasarathy, an assistant electrical engineering professor, received a prestigious CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. The CAREER program is an initiative from the National Science Foundation to support early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education.

His project titled, "Wearable opto-electronic sensor for quantitative, noninvasive imaging of cerebral blood flow in humans." was recognized in the CAREER award, which includes a five-year grant totaling $512,945. Dr. Parthasarathy's work focuses on developing wearable devices that can measure the properties of tissues, specifically blood flow and blood oxygen. 

"Over the past few years, we've been working on making these devices smaller and more wearable to use," said Dr. Parthasarathy, and he emphasized that through their work, the device has shrunk from the size of a suitcase to the size of a piece of gum. 

Dr. Parthasarathy hopes that the wearable technology could be placed on a patient and used to monitor treatment responsiveness for diseases like strokes or traumatic brain injury.

"Winning the award was very surreal because we've certainly worked on this for a significant amount of time. It was equal parts excitement, relief, and validation," said Dr. Parthasarathy regarding his NSF CAREER award. He also highlights the skill-building opportunities that students receive from this project - pulling concepts across disciplines like physics or biomedicine and placing that knowledge into a physical device.

Dr. Parthasarathy completed his doctoral degree in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and his postdoctoral research at Boston University and University of Pennsylvania. He now leads TROPICS (Translational Optics Imaging and Spectroscopy lab) at USF, which is focused on the development and application of novel optical/opto-electronic instrumentation for the diagnosis, monitoring, and characterization of diseases such as strokes, brain injuries and tumors.