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Office of Naval Research Awards Mann

Brian MannA Pratt School of Engineering faculty member has been honored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) as one of the top 24 young researchers in the United States for 2008 for his proposal to develop energy generators that can power ocean sensor networks and detect submarines or other vessels.

The novel part of this plan is that the system will be “powered” by the energy inherent in the wave motion.

Brian Mann, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science, was one of nine investigators awarded grants in the Sea Warfare and Weapons section of the program. The three-year program awards grants of up to $100,000 per year.

“We proposed a scientific investigation that takes into account the challenges of real ocean environments where environmental conditions, such as wave height and frequency, can change considerably over a short period of time,” Mann explained. “The project includes the design, fabrication and testing of these buoy energy harvesters. Experiments will first be performed in the lab, before moving to a wave tank and finally the ocean.”

Mann joined the Pratt faculty in 2007 after spending two years in the Air Force, followed by earning a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering, from the University of Missouri, and an M.S. degree in mechanical engineering design and a D.Sc. in degree in mechanical engineering, both from Washington University.

The ONR’s Young Investigator Program is designed to support new faculty members and encourage their teaching and research careers.