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February 21, 2024

One SVSU professor to study concept of free will, another to research gas pumping, thanks to Braun Fellowship

Jeffrey Koberski and AKM Monayem Mazumder

Two Saginaw Valley State University professors will continue to pursue their research with support from the SVSU Braun Fellowship.

Jeffrey Koperski, professor of philosophy, and A K M Monayem Mazumder, associate professor of mechanical engineering, will each receive an award of $37,500 over the next three years to support their respective research projects.

Koperski’s research project, “Physics and Free Will,” will form the basis of a new book by the same name. Through his research, Koperski intends to show that, contrary to what some physicists claim, free will is fully compatible with physics.

“We may or may not have free will, but nothing in physics itself shows that it is impossible,” Koperski said. “Free-will skeptics typically include several philosophical assumptions and call it all ‘science.’”

Koperski joined SVSU’s faculty in 1997. He received a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Dayton University and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Ohio State University. Koperski is frequently invited to speak at conferences; he also has been published widely in professional journals and has authored three books.

“It’s a generous grant,” Koperski said about the Braun Fellowship. “The teaching load at SVSU is relatively high, so having some extra time is essential for a book-length project. I’m very happy to have received the fellowship.”

Through his project, “Grounded Electrode Effect on Gas Pumping by a Two-Stage EHD Pump,” Mazumder intends to demonstrate how using electrical energy to enhance the heat transfer process will increase efficiency of a two-stage electrohydrodynamic pump. Mazumder plans to involve SVSU students in his research, allowing them to gain experience in setting up experiments and collecting data.

“I am very grateful to the Saginaw Community Foundation for the Braun Fellowship, and I am privileged to be awarded this opportunity,” Mazumder said.

Mazumder joined the faculty of SVSU in 2018. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Oklahoma, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of New Orleans and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. He has authored several journal articles and a textbook, and has presented at more than 40 international conferences.

The Braun Fellowship program was created in 2005 through a $1.5 million endowment from the Saginaw-based Harvey Randall Wickes Foundation. Administered by the Saginaw Community Foundation, the program's purpose is to recognize the exceptional accomplishments and potential of select SVSU faculty and staff. It is named in honor of Ruth Braun and her late husband, Ted.