2021 Acorn Innovation Awards

ECE Research Assistant Professor Yousof Naderi, Professor Kaushik Chowdhury, Assistant Professor Aatmesh Shrivastava, and ChE Assistant Professor Benjamin Woolston  received Acorn Innovation Fund Awards which help in the commercialization of scientific breakthroughs in Massachusetts. The Acorn Awards are funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and overseen by

Yousof Naderi, PhD and Dr. Kaushik Chowdhury, PhD, Northeastern University: “iSurface: Programmable Intelligent Surfaces with AI-enabled Autonomous Sensing, Computing, and Networking”

Grantees propose iSurface, an “intelligent surface platform,” that is the first-ever programmable and AI-driven plug-and-play solution that transforms ordinary surfaces into intelligent contactless sensing, computing, and networked surfaces.

Aatmesh Shrivastava, PhD,  Northeastern University: “Ultra-low Power Wake-up Radio”

This project aims to advance an ultra-low-power, wake-up radio solution for Internet of Thing (IoT) applications with up to six orders of magnitude reduction in power consumption when compared to existing solutions. IoT technologies, such as for managing energy use in homes, are kept in the sleep mode most of the time to keep power consumption low, and wake-up solutions are needed to trigger the sensors to carry out a task. This new technology will enable continuous network connections, allowing for applications otherwise not possible.

Benjamin Woolston, PhD,  Northeastern University: “A Co-Culture Method for Enhanced Biofuel and Biochemical Production from Untreated Waste Gases”

Fermentation of waste industrial gas streams is a promising method for producing renewable biofuels and biochemicals from the waste streams. The process requires microorganisms and is limited by the sensitivity of the anaerobic microorganisms involved to oxygen. This grantee is developing a symbiotic co-culture approach that overcomes these issues.

Related Faculty: Yousof Naderi, Kaushik Chowdhury, Aatmesh Shrivastava, Benjamin Woolston

Related Departments:Chemical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering