Four School of Engineering faculty members among those honored with NSF early-career awards

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Monday, April 10, 2017 - 5:00pm

Four School of Engineering faculty members, including three from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), have been selected for the 2017 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program.

Two EECS faculty members received awards from the NSF Division of Electrical, Communication, and Cyber Systems. Ruonan Han, the E. E. Landsman (1958) Career Development Assistant Professor in EECS, will explore on-chip terahertz electronic frequency combs. Luqiao Liu, the Robert Shillman Career Development Assistant Professor in EECS, will explore spin-orbit interaction based spintronics with superconductors.

"Resilient infrastructure, abundant food and water, affordable medical treatments, smart communities—these are engineering marvels that we all want to experience," Barry Johnson, acting National Science Foundation assistant director for engineering, said in announcing the awards. "For each one of us, throughout our great nation, to reach the America of our dreams requires investment today in new generations of engineering researchers across the country." Supported by grants from the National Science Foundation's Engineering Directorate, each researcher will set out with at least a $500,000 award and a plan to make advances in engineering. The 156 awardees in this NSF division hail from 88 institutions across 34 U.S. states.

Another EECS faculty member received an award from the NSF's Division of Mathematical Sciences. Caroline Uhler, Henry L. & Grace Doherty Assistant Professor, Ocean Utilization, and an assistant professor of EECS, will study probabilistic graphic models using an integrated approach that combines ideas from applied algebraic geometry, convex optimization, mathematical statistics, and machine learning, and apply these models to scientifically important problems.

The three EECS faculty members are joined by Amos Winter, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who received an award from the NSF Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems. He will explore tuning passive prosthetic leg dynamics to create low-cost, robust devices that can replicate physiological gait in multiple activities of daily living.