Teamwork fuels a million dollar idea

Jessica Rivinius: The note arrives in my email that Mark Scott has just won a million dollar grant for his research, but before I can even send a congratulatory message (and request for interview) to him, he sends a note of gratitude to his colleagues and research partners. It is clear that this is a team effort, and as I interview him, that is made clearer.

“It's like being on a football team -- your running back may score the game-winning touchdown, but 10 other players were on the field in the right place at the right time to make it happen,” Scott says. “Our proposal would not have been accepted without the contributions of our partners at AFRL, GE Aviation Systems, The Ohio State University, PC Krause and Associates, and Power Converters Future.

It’s not just the named research partners that Scott credits with helping bring home the large award. He is effusively grateful to his colleagues throughout CEC and the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department for their support and expertise as he established a power electronics research program.

“Our department chair, Professor Qihou Zhou, is amazing,” Scott says. “He gave me two valuable assets, time and opportunity, as I grew into my role at Miami. He also helped me acquire the necessary laboratory space and equipment to conduct this research.”

He says his team wouldn’t have been able to accomplish the OFRN deliverables without those resources, or the support of CEC Dean Beena Sukumaran and former Dean Marek Dollár.

“The ECE department has a very collegial team; everyone wants everyone else to succeed,” Scott says. “I think this is unique to our university.”

Also unique to the university: a dedicated team in the Office of Research and Innovation.

“I cannot thank the Office of Research and Innovation enough: CaTia Daniels and Anne Schauer provided needed guidance and they were so generous with their time,” Scott says. “They went out of their way for me on more than one occasion for this grant and others. We are very fortunate to have them at Miami.”