Interactive Panel Moderator

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Michael Dunaway, PhD

Michael Dunaway is Executive Director of the Digital Futures Resilience Program at the University of Cincinnati. The Digital Futures Program focuses on the development and integration of technology systems, data analytics and computer-aided decision systems to enhance the security, safety and efficiency of urban centers and communities, while improving quality of life for all citizens.

In previous positions, Dr. Dunaway served as Director of the National Incident Management Systems and Advanced Technologies (NIMSAT) Institute at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, with concurrent assignments as Director of the Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center, and as Chair of the Private Sector/Economic Development Committee of the Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission. Earlier assignments included Senior Director for Preparedness and Resilience Programs at the National Headquarters of the American Red Cross; Chief for Risk Management and Program Manager at the Science & Technology Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and as a program manager in the Warfighter Protection Division of the Office of Naval Research
A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, retiring from active duty at the rank of Captain. He holds an M.A. in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from George Washington University. He is a founding partner of Æ Analytics, a Delaware-based, veteran-owned small business specializing in risk management and strategic planning.

Interactive Panel Speakers

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Whitney Gaskins

Whitney Gaskins,  Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor- Office of Inclusive Excellence & Community Engagement

Dr. Gaskins is the Assistant Dean of Inclusive Excellence and Community Engagement in the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science, the only African-American female currently teaching in the faculty of the College of Engineering. Whitney earned her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering, her Masters of Business Administration in Quantitative Analysis and her Doctorate of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering/Engineering Education. In her role as Assistant Dean, Dr. Gaskins has revamped the summer bridge program to increase student support and retention as well as developed and strengthened partnerships in with local area school districts to aid in the high school to college pathway. She serves as the Principal Investigator for both the Choose Ohio First Program (COF) and Ohio LSAMP grants. Through these grant programs the students receive competitive scholarship funding and professional development workshops which help prepare them to enter into the STEMM workforce.

In 2009, she founded The Gaskins Foundation, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to educate and empower the African American community. Her foundation recently launched the Cincinnati STEMulates year round K-12 program, which is a free of charge program that will introduce more students to Math and Science. She was named the 2017 K12 Champion by the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates (NAMEPA). In 2015, Dr. Gaskins was awarded the Janice A Lumpkin Educator of the Year Golden Torch Award. In 2019, she was recognized by the Greater Cincinnati Chamber as a Black History Maker. She was a recipient of the Dr. Terry Kershaw Faculty Excellence Award and the Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Cincinnati for her innovative honors course Sticky Innovation . She was also inducted in the 40 under 40 class of 2019.


Headshot of Zvi Biener

Zvi Biener

Zvi Beiner, Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Cincinnati, an affiliate of the History department, the Judaic Studies department, and the Center for Public Engagement with Science.

Dr. Biener is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Cincinnati, and the Editor-in-Chief of the PhilSci-Archive at the University of Pittsburgh. His main area of research is in the history and philosophy of science, particularly the foundations of classical physics. He has published widely on the matter theory and scientific methodology of Isaac Newton, Thomas Hobbes, and Galileo Galilei. Before earning his PhD, he worked as a database systems engineer, which sparked his interest in data science and knowledge organization. He is particularly interested in the challenges and opportunities that AI and big data provide for contemporary scientific methodology, and the epistemological issues related to the so-called “end of theory” potential of big data discovery methods.



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Prashant Khare

Prashant Khare, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Aerospace Engineering, University of Cincinnati

Dr. Prashant Khare is an assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He earned his Ph.D. degree in aerospace engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and an MS degree in mechanical engineering from Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on multiphase flows, fundamental turbulent fluid dynamics and combustion science, machine learning, and high-performance computing relevant to energy and propulsion applications. Dr. Khare is a recipient of the Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award, the W.R. Marshall award from the Institute of Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems (ILASS), and several other best paper/presentation awards from AIAA and ASME for his research on multiphase flows. He has also received several teaching awards, including the Neil Wandmacher Teaching Award for Early Career Faculty. Dr. Khare is the co-founder and serves as the chair of the advisory committee of the Advanced Research Computing Center at UC.



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Sam Anand

Sam Anand, Professor,  CEAS, Director, Siemens PLM Simulation Technology Center

Dr. Sam Anand, who leads the Center for Global Design and Manufacturing in UC, has been actively involved in research for the past five years on analyzing AM processes for minimizing Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing (GD&T) errors while reducing the AM process energy and material utilization.

Dr. Anand’s team is actively looking into methods and techniques for understanding the correlation between AM process parameters and the errors on the manufactured parts while minimizing support structures and process energy. In addition, they are developing techniques for modifying the existing STL file format in order to reduce its effect on the final part errors. The overall goal of Dr. Anand’s research is to remove the “trial and error” method currently associated with AM process and replace it with a “first-part right” approach. Dr. Anand has published several journal and conference papers in the AM field in these areas.

Dr. Anand will be able to contribute in the areas of mathematical modeling and development of computational methods for increasing part accuracy and reducing the energy footprint of AM processes. He will also be able to leverage his current work on development of new file formats in AM process for improving part accuracy. His prior experience in computational metrology will be of particular importance in developing new in-situ metrology methods.


image of Dr. Achala Vagal

Achala Vagal, MD, Radiology

Achala Vagal, MD, Radiology

Dr. Achala Vagal is Professor of Radiology and Vice Chair of Research at University of Cincinnati Radiology department. She is actively involved in national and international multidisciplinary collaborations for stroke imaging.

She has extensive experience in leading imaging core labs for large, multicenter stroke trials funded by NIH and industry including the CLEAR-FDR, PRISMS, MOST, ENDOLOW, ROSE and FASTEST trials. Her roles have included Clinical Trial Working Group for the NIH/ NINDS Network of Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials (NEXT), NIH Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trials (NETT) Network and NIH Stroke NET. She is also the PI of a NIH/NINDS R01 grant studying population-based brain health for recurrent stroke and a NINDS/NIA RF1 grant for post stroke dementia.

Dr. Vagal has expertise in stroke imaging and advanced neuroimaging of cerebrovascular diseases and has given numerous talks at national and international platforms on these topics. She serves on multiple committees in national organizations including leadership positions including previous instructional Course Director, Neuroradiology for American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) and current panel Chair and Editorial Board Member, Radiographics, Neurologic/Head and Neck Imaging Section and, Chair of American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR) Education committee

She has published numerous articles along with multiple invited national and international talks and presentations in stroke imaging. She received the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) award in 2012 to study multimodal neuroimaging in stroke and was awarded the CCTST KL2 Research Scholar award from 2014-2016 for related work. She is recipient of the Stroke Innovation Award at the 2019 International Stroke Conference, the 2019 ASNR Women in Neuroradiology leadership award and 2020 RSNA Honored Educator Award.