Press Releases

Congresswoman Lori Trahan Applauds Nearly $600k in Federal Funding Awarded to the University of Massachusetts Lowell

LOWELL, MA – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) applauded the awarding of $595,080 in federal grant funding to the University of Massachusetts Lowell by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The first grant, totaling $455,096, will be used to support the university’s MRI: Development of a Calibration System for Stereophotogrammetry to Enable Large-Scale Measurement and Monitoringproject. The second grant, totaling $139,984, will support the New Directions in Bayesian Change-Point Analysis project. 

“UMass Lowell continues to provide groundbreaking research, and I am positive that these upcoming projects will follow that model. I am even more thrilled to know that part of this funding will not only be providing STEM education for the University students, but will also be brought into elementary and high schools to introduce younger students to new technology and encourage them to pursue a career in a STEM-related field. It is critical that we introduce students to STEM education early so that we prepare them for the innovation economy and the jobs of the future,” said Congresswoman Lori Trahan.

The first project, led by Dr. Alessandro Sabato, will develop a system that allows measurements from moving platforms, such as drones or cars. This technology will enhance public safety through rapid and accurate inspection of critical infrastructures and technologies. Research from this project will provide an understanding of how details such as location, damage, and strain can alter how instruments, such as wind turbine blades and parachutes, operate. This project will not only work with students attending UMass Lowell, but will also collaborate with local K-12 students and teachers to introduce them to new technologies, like computer-vision and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) inspection. 

“The research team and I are very excited to have been selected by the National Science Foundation to perform this research. This study will contribute to the advancement of fundamental research in several core areas, including structural health monitoring, structural dynamics, defense, and geosciences. The proposed approach will revolutionize the way assessment and monitoring of large-scale engineering systems like infrastructure, wind turbine blades, and parachutes are performed,” said Dr. Sabato, Assistant Professor at UMass Lowell Francis College of Engineering.  

The second project, led by Dr. Nilabja Guha, Ph.D, will use new and improved Baysenian techniques to observe and study natural, structural change-points and their various response effects on day-to-day elements, such as gas prices and crime rates. The Baysenian method, a specific statistical method, uses Bayes’ theorem to create various probable situations and allows researchers to observe and predict the possible outcomes. This project will develop a comprehensive statistical and probabilistic modeling framework that can account for and study such structural changes, which will help answer relevant scientific questions.

“This National Science Foundation grant will help us make fundamental contributions to 

statistical science that will have implications in multiple disciplines. By facilitating cutting-edge research, research collaboration and research dissemination,  this grant will help push the frontier of statistics and its applications,” said Nilabja Guha, Assistant Professor at UMass Lowell Kennedy College of Sciences.


Congresswoman Trahan continues to be an advocate for STEM research and programs during her time in Congress. Most recently, Congresswoman Trahan was able to help secure more than $8.5 billion in federal funding during negotiations for FY2021for the National Science Foundation, an increase of $270 million above FY2020. 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports research, innovation, and discovery that provides the foundation for economic growth in this country. By advancing the frontiers of science and engineering, our nation can develop the knowledge and cutting edge technologies needed to address the challenges we face today and will face in the future.

Additional information regarding these awards can be found on the NSF Award Abstracts database, linked below. 

MRI: Development of a Calibration System for Stereophotogrammetry to Enable Large-Scale Measurement and Monitoring:

New Directions in Bayesian Change-Point Analysis: