UMCP, UMB Roll Out Achievements in Annapolis Showcase

Published 1/21/20 on Maryland Today

MPower graphic
The University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State is a collaboration between the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore to leverage the strengths of each to benefit the state, and beyond.
(Illustration and infographic by Valerie Morgan)

Research powerhouses on their own, the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) have a combined effect that’s greater still, tackling pressing health issues, growing innovative startups and technologies, and accelerating the education of the next generation of Marylanders.

Researchers, students and leaders from the two institutions are in Annapolis today demonstrating the achievements of the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State, an 8-year-old collaboration designed to leverage the strengths of each institution for the common good.

One of the scheduled speakers at today’s event, senior UMCP bioengineering major Mauricio “Cio” Defngin, along with his capstone engineering project team, worked with Dr. Jeffrey Hasday, a University of Maryland School of Medicine professor to design a hood system that blocks glare and noise to help intensive care unit patients get needed sleep.

“The idea came from the clinical side, and we designed it on the engineering side,” Defngin said. “Connecting those two institutions made everything possible.”

Other MPower projects are pushing technology where it’s never been before. Computer scientist Amitabh Varshney, dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences and co-director of the MPower-supported Maryland Blended Reality Center, is developing uses for virtual reality and augmented reality in medical education, non-opioid pain control and even lifesaving medical procedures.

His research alongside doctors from UMB is possible because of MPower’s “visionary” structure, said Varshney, who’s attending the event today.

“If each of these groups had been operating by themselves, they wouldn’t have been able to imagine what the possibilities were,” Varshney said. “With the support of MPower, we’ve been able to pull unique talent from each university and form synergistic interdisciplinary teams that are doing amazing work.”

Click through the graphic below to learn more about MPower and some of its signature programs: