Six Purdue Polytechnic faculty win Seed for Success, high dollar-value research award

Vetria Byrd, a faculty winner from Computer Graphics Technology, with Karen Plaut, executive vice president for research. (Photo provided)

On November 1, Purdue honored six professors from Purdue Polytechnic, the university’s college for technology, with Seed for Success Acorn Awards.

The award recognizes Purdue researchers who have obtained their first grant of $1 million or more in funding.

This year’s ceremony honored winners from the past three years, as ceremonies were cancelled in 2020, 2021 and 2022 due to COVID restrictions.

Award-winning professors from Purdue Polytechnic made a showing across all three years.

They also came from a range of Polytechnic academic departments; three from computer and information technology, one from aviation and transportation technology, one from technology, leadership and innovation, and finally, one from computer graphics technology.

Altogether, the Acorn Award winners from Purdue Polytechnic are as follows:


  1. Jin Wei-Kocsis, Department of Computer and Information Technology (“Cyber Resilience Adaptive Virtual Reality Experiences (CRAVRE),” awarded $1.5 million from Homeland Security. CRAVRE also run by fellow collaborators in Purdue Polytechnic: Mesut Akdere and Umit Karabiyik)
  2. Nathan Mentzer, Department of Technology, Leadership and Innovation (“Learning by evaluating (LbE): Engaging students in evaluation as a pedagogical strategy to improve design thinking,” awarded $1.25 million by the National Science Foundation)


  1. Alejandra J. Magana, School of Computer and Information Technology (FMRG: Cyber: Privacy-Preserving Tiny Machine Learning Edge Analytics Enabling AI-Commons for Manufacturing,” awarded $2.9 million by the National Science Foundation)
  2. Vetria L. Byrd, Department of Computer Graphics Technology (“Geospatial Understanding through an Integrative Discovery Environment,” awarded $2.45 million by the HDR Institute)


  1. Joseph P. Hupy, School of Aviation and Transportation Technology (“Promoting Economic Resilience and Sustainability of the Eastern US Forests (PERSEUS),” awarded $10 million by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture)
  2. Baijian (“Justin”) Yang, Department of Computer and Information Technology (Also awarded as a co-investigator on the PERSEUS project, see above entry)

Read more about the Seed for Success Acorn Award at Purdue Today.

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