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NSF CAREER Awards

Prestigious research awards like the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER are an important measure of scholarship stature. The College of Engineering is proud to highlight our many winners.

Funding. Each award of approximately $500,000 over 5 years advances the career trajectory and potential impact of outstanding junior faculty. Further, funded projects frequently provide cutting-edge opportunities for student researchers. Faculty across the country submit integrated research and educational outreach project proposals, and the NSF selects approximately 450 winners each year.

Award Recipients

Since college inception in 1997, our faculty have earned a commanding 24 awards.

2022 — Casey Kennington (Computer Science)
Integrating Interaction, Embodiment, and Emotion to Transform Language Models. Abstract.
Funding: CISE/Division of Information and Intelligent Systems/IIS: Robust Intelligence/ Natural Language Processing (NLP).

2022 — Mahmood Mamivand (Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering)
Advancing nanostructure & interface science for permanent magnets without rare earth materials. Abstract.
Funding: MPS/DMR/Condensed Matter and Materials Theory (CMMT).

2020 — Clare Fitzpatrick (Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering)
Computational Modeling to Predict Subject-Specific Osteoarthritis Risk and Facilitate Treatment. Abstract.
Funding: ENG/CBET/ Disability and Rehabilitation Engineering (DARE), and EPSCoR.

2020 — Mike Hurley (Materials Science and Engineering)
Resolving the Origins of Microgalvanic Corrosion on Metal Surfaces. Abstract.
Funding: MPS/DMR/Metals and Metallic Nanostructures.

2020 — Catherine Olschanowsky (Computer Science)
Compilation Processes to Enhance Dataflow Optimizations. Abstract.
Funding: CISE/Computing and Communication Foundations/Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF): Core Programs, and EPSCoR.

2020 — Elena Sherman (Computer Science)
Computing Program Invariants using Abstract Domains Search. Abstract.
Funding: CISE/Computing & Communication Foundations/Software and Hardware Foundations (SHF).

2020 — Francesca Spezzano (Computer Science)
Enhanced Analysis & Algorithms to Minimize the Spread of Misinformation in Social Networks. Abstract.
Funding: CISE/CCF/Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace, and EPSCoR.

2019 — Dave Estrada (Materials Science and Engineering)
Graphene as a Bioscaffold for Musculoskeletal Tissue EngineeringAbstract.
Funding: MPS/DMR/Biomaterials.

2019 — Hoda Mehrpouyan (Computer Science)
Formal Tools for Safety and Security of Industrial Control Systems (FORENSICS). Abstract.
Funding: CISE/CCF/Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace.

2018 — Kurtis Cantley (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Spiking Neural Circuits and Networks with Temporally Dynamic Learning. Abstract.
Funding: CISE/Computing and Communication Foundations: Core Programs, and EPSCoR.

2018 — Michael Ekstrand (Computer Science)
User-Based Simulation Methods for Quantifying Sources of Error and Bias in Recommender Systems. Abstract.
Funding: CISE/Information and Intelligent systems: Core Programs: Cyber-Human Systems.

2018 — Elton Graugnard (Materials Science and Engineering)
Atomic Layer Deposition for Scalable Manufacturing of Atomic-Layered Transition Metal Dichalcogenides. Abstract.
Funding: ENG/CMMI/Nanomanufacturing.

2017 — Eric Jankowski (Materials Science and Engineering)
Computational transformation of organic electronics manufacturing. Abstract.
Funding: ENG/CBET/Energy for Sustainability, and EPSCoR.

2017 — Yanliang Zhang (Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering; now at the University of Notre Dame)
Printing and Interface Engineering of Colloidal Nanocrystals for Flexible Thermoelectrics and Electronics. Abstract.
Funding: ENG/CMMI/MEP.

2016 — Trevor Lujan (Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering)
Characterization and Simulation of Failure Mechanisms in Soft Fibrous Tissue. Abstract.
Funding: ENG/CMMI: Biomechanics & Mechanobiology, and EPSCoR.

2016 — Paul Simmonds (Physics/Materials Science and Engineering)
Novel Nanomaterials for Scalable Entangled Photon Emitters. Abstract.
Funding: (1) MPS/Division of Materials Research/Electronic and Photonic Materials (EPM), and (2) ENG/Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS)/Electronics, Photonics and Magnetic Devices.

2015 — Claire Xiong (Materials Science and Engineering)
Defect-driven Metal Oxides for Enhanced Energy Storage Systems. Abstract.
Funding: MPS/DMR/Ceramics, and the Office of Multidisciplinary Activity.

2014 — Vishal Saxena (Electrical and Computer Engineering; now at the University of Idaho)
Mixed-Signal Photonic Integrated Circuits for Energy-Efficient High-Speed Data Interfaces. Abstract.
Funding: ENG/ECCS/Communications, Circuits and Sensing-Systems (CCSS).

2011 — Inanc Senocak (Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering; now at the University of Pittsburgh)
Multi-scale modeling of short-term forecasting and grid integration of wind energy over complex terrain. Abstract.
Funding: ENG/CBET/Energy for Sustainability.

2009 — Wan Kuang (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Numerical and Experimental Study of Photon-Electron Interaction in Surface Plasmon-Polariton Nanophotonic Devices. Abstract.
Funding: ENG/ECCS/Energy, Power, and Adaptive Systems, and EPSCoR.

2007 — Megan Frary (Materials Science and Engineering)
Role of Grain Boundary Character on Dynamic Recrystallization. Abstract.
Funding: MPS/DMR/Metal & Metallic Nanostructure.

2003 — Elisa Barney Smith (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Document Image Degradation Analysis. Abstract.
Funding: Signal Processing Systems, and EPSCoR.

2001 — John Lusth (Computer Science; now at the University of Arkansas)
Improving the Performance of Quantum-dot Cellular Automata. Abstract.
Funding: Electronics, Photonics, and Mag Devices, and EPSCoR.

1997 — Susan Burkett (Electrical and Computer Engineering; now at the University of Alabama)
Fundamental Electrical and Thermal Limitations of Patterned Thin Film Multilayer Magnetic Field Sensors. Abstract.
Funding: Electronics, Photonics, and Magnetic Devices, and EPSCoR.

Faculty member Scott Phillips (Materials Science and Engineering) earned the award before joining the college, when at Pennsylvania State University. His study addressed the synthesis of novel classes of depolymerizable polymers with well-defined response properties. Abstract