University Leadership Initiative (ULI) - Round 1 Awards

ULI - Round 1 (Awarded in 2017)

(More information on each of the ULI awards is available at NASA TechPort, click on the award titles under the section "ULI - Round 1 Awards")


Third Annual Meeting

All ULI awardees virtually hosted their third annual meeting (between August and September 2020) with their non-advocate peer reviewers and NASA.


Second Annual Meeting

All ULI awardees hosted their second annual meeting (between July and September 2019) with their non-advocate peer reviewers and NASA.


ARMD Web Feature

NASA Aeronautics published a web feature on ULI progress and student education and workforce development, titled "Putting Universities in Charge Yields Early Success."


First Annual Meeting

All ULI awardees hosted their first annual meeting (between August and September 2018) with their non-advocate peer reviewers and NASA.


Technical Interchange at AIAA

ULI Technical Interchange at the AIAA Aviation Forum in Atlanta (Jun 25, 2018) was an ideal event to discover cutting-edge research and technologies that will advance U.S. aviation and to have an inspired idea exchange and networking for both leads and partners looking to participate in future ULI solicitations. ULI presentations:


Kickoff Meeting

All ULI awardees hosted their kickoff meetings in 2017 with their non-advocate peer reviewers and NASA.


ULI Lunch and Learn

On July 13-14, 2017 representatives of the five Round 1 ULI teams briefed congressional staff on their research topics, team approach, and expectations for their ULI experience. Team leads accompanied by their students visited congressional offices.


ULI - Round 1 Solicitation

NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) announced a new opportunity for universities and their research partners to contribute toward NASA research goals. This opportunity is now closed.

The Interested Partners List was provided to help connect potential applicants. For further information on the University Leadership Initiative, please contact


ULI - Round 1 Awards

  1. Information Fusion for Real-Time National Air Transportation System Prognostics under Uncertainty (Link to NASA TechPort)
    • PI: Yongming Liu (Arizona State University)
    • Co-Is: Aditi Chattopadhyay (Arizona State University), Jingrui He (Arizona State University), Lei Ying (Arizona State University), Mary Niemczyk (Arizona State University), Nancy Cooke (Arizona State University), Pingbo Tang (Arizona State University), Sankaran Mahadevan (Vanderbilt University), Barron Bichon (Southwest Research Institute), John McFarland (Southwest Research Institute), P.K. Menon (Optimal Synthesis), Victor Cheng (Optimal Synthesis), Parikshit Dutta (Optimal Synthesis), Sang Gyun Park (Optimal Synthesis)
    • ARMD Strategic Thrust: Real-Time System-Wide Safety Assurance
    • Period of Performance: May 2017 - April 2022
    • Link: Arizona State University's ULI page
  2. Electric Propulsion: Challenges and Opportunities (Link to NASA TechPort)
    • PI: Mike Benzakein (Ohio State University)
    • Co-Is: Greg Busch (Ohio State University), Marcello Canova (Ohio State University), Fang Luo (Ohio State University), Giorgio Rizzoni (Ohio State University), Jin Wang (Ohio State University), Longya Xu (Ohio State University), Mahesh Illindala (Ohio State University), Alexis Abramson (Case Western Reserve University), Vikas Prakash (Case Western Reserve University), Dimitri Mavris (Georgia Tech), Christopher Perullo (Georgia Tech), Jimmy Tai (Georgia Tech), Thomas Jahns (University Of Wisconsin, Madison), Bulent Sarlioglu (University Of Wisconsin, Madison), F McCluskey (University of Maryland, College Park), John Kizito (North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University)
    • ARMD Strategic Thrust: Transition to Alternative Propulsion and Energy
    • Period of Performance: May 2017 - April 2022
    • Link: TBD
  3. Hyper-Spectral Communications, Networking & ATM as Foundation for Safe and Efficient Future Flight: Transcending Aviation (Link to NASA TechPort)
    • PI: David Matolak (University of South Carolina)
    • Co-Is: Ismail Guvenc, (North Carolina State University), Hani Mehrpouyan (Boise State University), David Rinehart (Architecture Technology Corporation)
    • ARMD Strategic Thrust: Safe, Efficient Growth in Global Operations
    • Period of Performance: May 2017 - April 2019
    • Link: University of South Carolina's ULI page
  4. Advanced Aerodynamic Design Center for Ultra-Efficient Commercial Vehicles (Link to NASA TechPort)
    • PI: James Coder (University Of Tennessee, Knoxville)
    • Co-Is: Phillip Ansell (University Of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Onur Bilgen (Rutgers University), Kenneth Brentner (Pennsylvania State University), Robert Campbell (Pennsylvania State University), Ryan Glasby (University Of Tennessee, Knoxville), Neal Harrison (Boeing Inc.), Abdollah Khodadoust (Boeing Inc.), Mark Maughmer (Pennsylvania State University), Dimitri Mavriplis (University Of Wyoming), Sven Schmitz (Pennsylvania State University), Dan Somers (Airfoils, Inc.), Stephanie TerMaath (University Of Tennessee, Knoxville), Helen Reed (Texas A&M University), Edward White (Texas A&M University)
    • ARMD Strategic Thrust: Ultra-Efficient Commercial Vehicles
    • Period of Performance: May 2017 - April 2022
    • Link: University of Tennessee, Knoxville's ULI page
  5. Adaptive Aerostructures for Revolutionary Civil Supersonic Transportation (Link to NASA TechPort)
    • PI: Dimitris Lagoudas (Texas A&M University)
    • Co-Is: Darren Hartl (Texas A&M University), Helen Reed (Texas A&M University), Ibrahim Karaman (Texas A&M University), Paul Cizmas (Texas A&M University), Richard Malak (Texas A&M University), Rodney Bowersox (Texas A&M University), David Lazzara (Boeing Inc.), Edward White (Boeing Inc.), Hao Shen (Boeing Inc.),  James Mabe (Boeing Inc.), Todd Magee (Boeing Inc.), Richard Miles (Princeton University), Eric Blades (ATA Engineering, Inc),  Jeremy Schaffer (Fort Wayne Metals Research Products Corp) George Dulikravich (Florida International University),  Doug Hunsaker (Utah State University), Theocharis Baxevanis (University Of Houston), Marcus Young (University Of North Texas)
    • ARMD Strategic Thrust: Innovation in Commercial Supersonic Aircraft
    • Period of Performance: May 2017 - April 2022
    • Link: Texas A&M University's ULI page


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