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City Tech Professor Gaffar Gailani Presents at NSF on Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation

Dr. Gaffar Gailani, left, with Dr. Dennis Carter, NSF director of biomechanics and mechanobiology and Stanford University professor of biomedical engineering.

In September 2012, the National Science Foundation (NSF) reached out to the research community nationwide to propose interdisciplinary topics at the emerging frontiers in research and innovation. It was anticipated that exposure to these topics would encourage new research and lead to transformative results that addressed important national needs.

More than 150 ideas were submitted, and New York City College of Technology Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology Assistant Professor Gaffar Gailani’s topic, "Research Frontiers in Quantitative Understanding of Biological Systems with Interacting Fluids and Structures," was among the ten selected for presentation in January 2013 to NSF staff and more than a dozen outside experts.

In his presentation, Dr. Gailani introduced a number of multidisciplinary topics that focused attention on applications of coupled systems of structures and fluid in quantitative biomechanics such as nested porosity, on promising applications of new biologically inspired materials, on recent developments in imaging and testing from the macro to the nano scale, and on microgravity in aerospace, among others. Dr. Gailani’s talk was followed by a discussion of his ideas with the experts and NSF program directors. Dr. Dennis Carter, director of biomechanics and mechanobiology at NSF and professor of biomedical engineering at Stanford University hosted Dr. Gailani’s visit.

Last month, Dr. Gailani and a group from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at City College of New York (CCNY) published a review article that covers part of the subject in a special issue on biofluids in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Journal of Biomechanics.

Dr. Gailani is principal investigator (PI) for a 2010 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) grant (see, the first NASA grant ever awarded City Tech. The three-year, $442,000 award was earmarked for the College’s project, “Achieving Proficiency in Engineering Research and STEM Education through NASA Initiatives.” He is also a co-PI for a $599,000 NSF S-STEM grant.

Dr. Gailani’s research is in biomechanics, poroelasticity – the study of the deformation of porous bodies, such as in bones (biomechanics) – and computational mechanics. He became interested in poroelasticity and its application in biomechanics when as a CCNY doctoral student he worked under Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering Stephen Cowin, an award-winning expert on the subject. Dr. Gailani is currently studying the contribution of the fluid flow in the microscopic scale to the mechanical properties of cortical bone and the custom-designed orthopedic implants.


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