(Note: Since the original publication of this story, a 2021 CAREER award was presented to Assistant Professor David Cantu of the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering. The headline and lead sentence of this story have been updated to reflect this 8th award. Learn more about Cantu in his Nevada Today CAREER award profile story.)
Eight faculty members have received a 2021 CAREER Award, marking the most ever awarded in a single year to University of Nevada, Reno faculty.
These National Science Foundation awards recognize role models in research and education with the potential to lead advances in their field and within their university. The five-year awards provide a foundation for their future career and research development.
As the NSF describes it, “This premier program emphasizes the importance the Foundation places on the early development of academic careers dedicated to stimulating the discovery process in which the excitement of research is enhanced by inspired teaching, enthusiastic learning and disseminating new knowledge.”
The 2021 awardees represent four of the University’s colleges and schools, plus a range of research disciplines:
- Christopher Barile, assistant professor of chemistry in the College of Science, for his work on improving the chemical reactions central to renewable energy technologies,
- Elizabeth Koebele, assistant professor of political science in the College of Liberal Arts, for her work on the impacts of collaborative water governance in the Colorado River Basin,
- So Young Ryu, assistant professor in the School of Community Health Sciences, for her work in developing bioinformatic methods to quantify and characterize protein post-translational modifications,
- Timur Tscherbul, assistant professor of physics in the College of Science, for his research on the nature of ultracold chemical reactions in the presence of an external electromagnetic field,
- Yan Wang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, for his work to control heat transfer at the nanoscale, a critical element of many engineering applications,
- Thomas White, assistant professor of physics in the College of Science, for his work to recreate and study nuclear dynamics in extreme environments, such as the centers of planets and stars,
- Feng Yan, assistant professor of computer science and engineering in the College of Engineering, for his work to design efficient, user-centric and automated machine-learning systems.
Research Proposal & Development Services, part of Research & Innovation, is available to assist in the development of CAREER Award submissions. Services include editing or external review of submissions or a combination of both.
“Clearly communicating research ideas and their societal importance to a broad audience is critical to securing research funding, especially for the most competitive awards, like the NSF CAREER,” said Kate Dunkelberger, proposal editor. “We are pleased to be able to partner with our faculty, share our expertise and help them excel in a competitive research climate.”
Forty-one CAREER Awards have been awarded to University of Nevada, Reno faculty since 1996, per Sponsored Projects records. This includes 17 CAREER Awards over the last five years.
“I am extremely proud of this cohort, our prior CAREER Awardees and the growing success of our early-career faculty in this prestigious NSF program,” said Mridul Gautam, University vice president for research and innovation. “They are taking on big questions directed toward global challenges, and the CAREER Awards underscore the knowledge, skills and creativity they bring to this effort.”
“These early-career faculty members are developing successful research programs, and even more importantly, they are integrating their research with education,” said Brian Sandoval, University president. “Our faculty are making significant and lasting contributions to our students, our University, our state and the world.”