University of New Orleans faculty member Christine Ikeda has been awarded a 3-year $510,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research. Ikeda, an assistant professor of naval architecture and marine engineering, is one of 36 researchers around the country to be named a 2015 Young Investigator, which is one of the oldest and most selective scientific research advancement programs in the country.
Ikeda’s grant will fund her research on how the hulls of high-speed watercraft interact with waves. High-speed craft undergo repeated slams into waves that not only lead to discomfort and injury but also damage to the craft itself. The goal of Ikeda’s research will be to gain a basic scientific understanding of what happens to the hull of a craft when it is subjected to slam events in the water. Researchers will use UNO’s 125-foot-long tow tank to determine the structural responses of waves on the hull.
“The Young Investigator Program is national recognition of the research program I am building at the University of New Orleans,” Ikeda said. “It is instrumental in starting my career and recruiting graduate students. The results of this project will allow for the development of design criteria for high-speed navy craft that reduce weight and increase efficiency through the use of fundamental scientific principles.”
The 2015 Young Investigators were selected from 383 research proposals based on merit and potential breakthrough advances for the Navy and Marine Corps. All recipients are college or university faculty members who have obtained tenure-track positions within the past five years.
Ikeda, who joined the UNO faculty in 2014 from the U.S. Naval Academy, holds a bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.
“These recipients demonstrate the type of visionary, multidisciplinary thought that helps the U.S. Navy anticipate and adapt to a dynamic battlespace,” said Larry Schuette, Office of Naval Research’s director of research.
The Young Investigator Program is designed to promote the professional development of early-career academic scientists both as researchers and instructors. The grants support lab equipment, graduate student stipends and scholarships, and other expenses critical to ongoing and planned research.