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The College of Engineering is proud to highlight our many National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award winners. The prestigious grant advances the career trajectory and potential impact of many outstanding junior faculty, and provides exciting opportunities for students to engage in cutting-edge research, often with national and international collaborators. Faculty across the country submit integrated research and educational outreach project proposals, and the NSF selects approximately 450 winners each year. Awards provide approximately $500,000 over 5 years.

Award Recipients

Since college inception in 1997, our faculty have earned a commanding 22 NSF CAREER awards.

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. Award: $563,139

2020 — Mike Hurley (Materials Science and Engineering)
Resolving the Origins of Microgalvanic Corrosion on Metal Surfaces. Abstract. Funding: MPS/DMR/Metals and Metallic Nanostructures. Award: $500K

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. Award: $544,246

2020 — Elena Sherman (Computer Science)
Computing Program Invariants using Abstract Domains Search. Abstract. Funding: CISE/Computing & Communication Foundations/Software and Hardware Foundations (SHF). Award: $473,549

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. Award: $487,469

2019 — Dave Estrada (Materials Science and Engineering)
Graphene as a Bioscaffold for Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering. Abstract. Funding: MPS/DMR/Biomaterials. Award: $550,752

2019 — Hoda Mehrpouyan (Computer Science)
Formal Tools for Safety and Security of Industrial Control Systems (FORENSICS). Abstract. Funding: CISE/CCF/Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace. Award: $450,000

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. Award: $548,882

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. Award: $482,000

2018 — Elton Graugnard (Materials Science and Engineering)
Atomic Layer Deposition for Scalable Manufacturing of Atomic-Layered Transition Metal Dichalcogenides. Abstract. Funding: ENG/CMMI/Nanomanufacturing. Award: $500,000

2017 — Eric Jankowski (Materials Science and Engineering)
Computational transformation of organic electronics manufacturing. Abstract. Funding: ENG/CBET/Energy for Sustainability, and EPSCoR. Award: $502,523

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. Award: $500,000

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. Award: $510,000

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. Award: $505,798

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.  Award: $528,027

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). Award: $500,000

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.  Award: $400,011

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. Award: $400,000

2007 — Megan Frary (Materials Science and Engineering)
Role of Grain Boundary Character on Dynamic Recrystallization. Abstract. Funding: MPS/DMR/Metal & Metallic Nanostructure. Award: $500,957

2003 — Elisa Barney Smith (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Document Image Degradation Analysis. Abstract. Funding: Signal Processing Systems, and EPSCoR. Award: $429,920

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. Award: $375,000

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. Award: $206,000

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

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