SJSU Assistant Professor Awarded CSU STEM-NET Faculty Fellowship

Assistant Professor Wencen WuWencen Wu, assistant professor of engineering at San José State, has been selected to serve as a California State University (CSU) STEM-NET Faculty Fellow and as a result, received the CSU Interagency Grant Award for the 2021-2022 academic year. 

The award will allow Wu to develop both educational and research-based collaborative proposals in STEM areas with faculty of diverse expertise across the CSU system, take on new initiatives designated by the provost, and help promote a culture of scholarship at SJSU.

The CSU STEM-NET fellowship is designed to help make the CSU a worldwide leader in increasing the pipeline, preparation, graduation and employment of outstanding, diverse STEM students. The goal is for CSU STEM leaders to share expertise and leverage system-wide opportunities to foster the implementation of best practices in research, pedagogy and learning in STEM fields within the CSU.

Wu’s research explores trending topics such as robotics, control theory, artificial intelligence and blockchain applications. Her current focus is developing cooperative control sensing algorithms for intelligent autonomous multi-robot systems that give robots the ability to communicate and learn from each other while using less energy. 

This research can have a great public impact on human safety. For example, this technology can be used to deploy teams of aerial drones or robotic fish into dangerous environments like wildfires or large oil spills to collect information, locate victims and even provide aid.

“With each successful experiment, we are one step closer to applying these algorithms and strategies to drones so they can go out and save lives,” Wu said. 

“These drones would be especially helpful with the increase in wildfire occurrences in California, as they can perform search and rescue missions or monitor vulnerable areas to provide prompt fire alerts.”

Group photo of Assistant Professor Wencen Wu's studentsWu is strongly invested in student research and said she realizes the importance of a well-funded research program. 

This award is an addition to her notable collection of research-sponsored grants such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation Award; NSF Cyber-Physical Systems Award; and San José State University Multidisciplinary Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Stimulus Award.

Her research has resulted in more than 40 peer-reviewed publications in well-recognized journals and international conferences. In addition, her expertise in robotics and machine learning has led her to participate in several conversations between SJSU and potential collaborators such as IBM and NASA.

“I am very pleased that Dr. Wu will have this excellent opportunity to collaborate with leading researchers across the CSU,” said Mohamed Abousalem, vice president for research and innovation at San José State. 

“STEM-NET awards and other campus-based research support programs are critical mechanisms for our researchers as they build their portfolio and expertise. This is critically important for their pursual of large extramural grants.”