Honors and Awards - 2014
Professor Fiona Burnell (physics) has received an NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award.
Professor John Gunnar Carlsson (industrial and systems engineering) has been awarded a grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research through their Air Force Young Investigator Research Program, for his proposal, "Allocating Geographic Resources Optimally."
Professors Keshab Parhi and Chris Kim (electrical and computer engineering) have received the NSF/SRC STARSS research grant as part of $4 million, 10 University push to secure computer semiconductor circuitry, architecture and systems
Professor Mo Li (electrical and computer engineering) and professor Steve Koester (electrical and computer engineering) are working with researchers from other institutes to win a $3 million grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, as a part of the agency's highly competitive Basic Research Initiative program.
Professor Nikos Sidiropoulos (electrical and computer engineering) and professor George Karypis (computer science and engineering) have received a $1.2 million grant for research about learning and education data analytics.
Professor Satish Kumar (chemical engineering and materials science) recently assumed the position of President of the International Society of Coating Science and Technology (ISCST). Kumar will hold this position for two years.
Professor Edward L. Cussler (chemical engineering and materials science) will present the 66th Institute Lecture in a special session at the AIChE Annual Meeting in November. Cussler will focus his remarks on "The Future of the Lecture" by describing both traditional elements and new alternatives to deliver lectures more effectively.
Associate professor Chad Myers (computer science and engineering) and his collaborator Anja Bielinsky (UMN- Genetics, Cell Biology and Development) were awarded $1.1 million over the next three years to fund their research in genome sequencing.
The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant of $1 million to an interdisciplinary team at the University of Minnesota, headed by professor Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos (computer science and engineering). Collaborators include Miki Hondzo, Jiarong Hong, Ibrahim V. Isler along with the Saint Anothony Falls Laboratory and professor Vijay Kumar of the University of Pennsylvania.
Regents professor Donald Truhlar and professor Andreas Stein (chemistry) are included on Thomson Reuters' list of the "best and brightest scientific minds of our time." Truhlar was one of 3,200 individuals who published the greatest number of highly cited papers between 2002 and 2012.
Professor Lorraine Francis (chemical engineering and materials science) was named the recipient of the 2014 John A. Tallmadge Award for Contributions to Coating Technology. This preeminent award for engineers and scientists in the international coating community is given by the International Society of Coating Science and Technology (ISCST).
Associate professor Arindam Banerjee (computer science and engineering) has been awarded more than $1 million by the National Science Foundation's "Big Data" Program to head up a three-year interdisciplinary data mining project.
Professor Jian-Ping Wang (electrical and computer engineering) has been named one of the 2014 Titans of Technology honorees by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal. Wang is being recognized as one of three Technology Inventors for his creation of breakthrough ideas, processes and products.
The University of Minnesota’s (UMN) Center for Sustainable Polymers (CSP) was awarded a Phase II Center for Chemical Innovation (CCI) grant from the National Science Foundation, totaling $20 million over five years.
Professor Rhonda Franklin (electrical and computer engineering) received the The Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award, recognizing her significant national and international accomplishments and honors as a University of Minnesota campus leader.
Professor Efie Kokkoli's (chemical engineering and materials science) research project on "DNA Nanotechnology: Developing and Analyzing a New Tool for Sensing and Targeting Disease" was selected for funding through the MnDRIVE Transdisciplinary Research Program.
Professor Thomas Hoye (chemistry) has received the Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products from the American Chemical Society (ACS), recognizing his outstanding achievements in the analysis, structure elucidation, and chemical synthesis of natural products.
Professor Robert Tranquillo (biomedical engineering) received a grant to develop a pediatric medical device, via a funding program of the University of Minnesota's Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Pediatric Device Innovation Consortium. Read the full story on the inaugural awardees of the Pediatric Medical Device Translational Grant Program.
Associate professor Alptekin Aksan (mechanical engineering) received a grant from the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment to develop a low-cost solution to produce clean drinking water.
Professor Mihailo Jovanovic (electrical and computer engineering) has received a Transdisciplinary Faculty Fellowship from the University of Minnesota Informatics Institute. This award positions recently promoted Associate Professors to provide leadership in transdisciplinary collaborative projects at theinterface of informatics and an application area. Six U of M faculty from across two campuses and representing eight different departments and institutes were awarded fellowships.
Professor Zhi-Quan (Tom) Luo (electrical and computer engineering) has been elected to the Royal Society of Canada, the highest honor for a scholar or artist in Canada.
Professor Georgios Giannakis (electrical and computer engineering) has been selected to receive the 2015 IEEE Fourier Technical Field Award (TFA) for his contributions to the theory and practice of statistical signal processing and its applications to wireless communications.
Professor Chris Kim (electrical and computer engineering) has received a funding award for MnDrive Transdisciplinary Research. His project — "Design and Manufacture of Wearable, Printed, and Flexible Electronics for Treating Neurological Disorders" — was selected from among 61 proposals.
The Department of Civil Engineering has changed its named to Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo– Engineering (CEGE), effective July 1. The new name reflects the three undergraduate degree programs now offered: Bachelor of Civil Engineering plus two degrees unique within the state of Minnesota — Bachelor of Geoengineering and the recently approved Bachelor of Environmental Engineering.
Professor Mark Distefano (chemistry) has been named a 2014 American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellow, honored for his outstanding contributions and service to chemistry, science, the profession, and the ACS.
Professor C. Daniel Frisbie (chemical engineering and materials science) has been appointed as Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CEMS) effective July 1, 2014.
Recent research in collaboration with professor Paul Crowell (physics), Dr. Valeria Lauter of Oak Ridge National Lab, chemical engineering and materials science post-doc Liam O’Brien and professor Chris Leighton (chemical engineering and materials science) have advanced a solution to a longstanding puzzle in nanoscale magnetic devices. The work, “Kondo physics in non-local metallic spin transport devices,” was recently published in the journal Nature Communications.
Professor Kumar Tamma (mechanical engineering) was awarded the 2014 IACM Fellow Award from the International Association for Computational Mechanics.
Associate professor Mohamed Mokbel (computer science and engineering) was recently elected to serve as Chair of the Special Interest Group on Spatial Information of the ACM (ACM SIGSPATIAL). Mokbel's term will run for three years, beginning on July 1.
Associate professor Volkan Isler (computer science and engineering) was recently awarded a UMII Transdisciplinary Research Fellowship. The fellowship was created to position recently promoted associate professors in transdisciplinary collaborative projects at the interface of informatics and an application area.
Professor John Gulliver (civil engineering) received the Dave Ford Award, which honors individuals whose lifetime accomplishments contribute to improving Minnesota's water quality.
The Department of Chemistry has been awarded a $12 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to lead an Energy Frontier Research Center aimed at accelerating scientific breakthroughs in energy research.
Professor Ian Tonks (chemistry) has received a grant from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator Program.
Professor William "Will" Pomerantz (chemistry) has received a prestigious CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation—a Chemistry of Life Process Program grant from the NSF Chemistry Division.
Professor Richard James (aerospace engineering and mechanics) received the Theodore von Kármán Prize from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). This prize, awarded once every 5 years, celebrates a "notable application of mathematics to mechanics and/or the engineering sciences made during the five to ten years preceding the award".
Professor Rafael Fernandes (physics) was one of only 35 scholars across the country to receive an Early Career Research Grant from the Department of Energy. The program seeks "outstanding scientists early in their careers" and provides an award of $750,000 over five years.
Professor Ulrike Tschirner (bioproducts and biosystems engineering) received the Richard C. Newman Art of Teaching award for 2014.
University of Minnesota President and tenured member of the chemical engineering and materials science faculty, Eric Kaler, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Professor Chris Leighton (chemical engineering and materials science) was named a 2014 Distinguished McKnight University professor.
Professor Prisca Cushman (physics) was named as chair of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee of the National Science Foundation for the 2014-2015 term.
Jerry Meier, Director of the Soudan Underground Laboratory, has won a 2014 University of Minnesota President's Award for Outstanding Service. The award recognizes staff who have provided outstanding service to the University.
Professor Shashi Shekhar (computer science and engineering) was appointed to the Board of Directors of the International Symposium on Spatial and Temporal Databases (SSTD) Endowment for a five-year term (2014-2019).
The innovative safety program developed by the Department of Chemistry and Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science has received the inaugural Council of Chemical Research Safety Award.
Assistant Professor Jasmine Foo (mathematics) has been awarded a five year Early Career Development (CAREER) grant award from NSF, which supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.
Lecture demonstration director Joseph Franek (chemistry) has been awarded the University of Minnesota President's Award for Outstanding Service.
Professor Randall Victora (electrical and computer engineering) will receive the IEEE Magnetics Society Achievement Award on May 6 at the INTERMAG Conference in Dresden, Germany. The honor is awarded to Victora for his contributions to the theory and simulation of magnetic materials, particularly magnetic recording media.
Professor Rhonda Franklin (electrical and computer engineering) has been named to serve on the Committee of Visitors for the Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems for the Directorate for Engineering of the National Science Foundation. The committee provides NSF with its judgments on the quality and integrity of the merit review process, program operations and program–level technical and managerial matters pertaining to proposal decisions.
Professors Mitch Luskin and Peter Olver (mathematics) have been named Fellows of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Luskin's citation reads "For contributions to multiscale numerical methods for materials with microstructure and defects and atomistic to continuum models." Olver's citation reads "For developing new geometric methods for differential equations leading to applications in fluid mechanics, elasticity, quantum mechanics, and image processing."
Associate professor Sang-Hyun Oh (electrical and computer engineering) and research assistant professor Nathan J. Wittenberg (electrical and computer engineering) have been awarded an Exploratory Grant as part of the MnDrive Initiative in Robotics, Sensors and Advanced Manufacturing (RSAM). Their proposal is titled "Integrating Surface Plasmon Resonance with Nano-Topographic Control of Lipid Raft Formation."
Professor Zhi-Li Zhang (computer science and engineering) has been selected by the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Computer Science as the 2014 recipient of the Outstanding Achievement and Advocacy (OAA) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research.
Professor Ned Mohan (electrical and computer engineering) was awarded the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) Nari Hingorani Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) Award, which recognizes individuals who have made a major contribution to the state of the art of FACTS (Flexible AC Transmission System) technology and its applications.
Assistant professor Thomas E. Schwartzentruber (aerospace engineering and mechanics) and assistant professor Christopher Douglas (chemistry) have received the 2014 George Taylor Career Development Award for exceptional contributions to teaching.
Professor Dan Dahlberg (physics) won the 2013 Dwight Nicholson Medal for Outreach from the American Physical Society for his unique activities in conveying to the general public the excitement and value of physics predominantly through the development and continued leadership of the program "The Physics Force."
Professor Saif Benjaafar (industrial and systems engineering) has been named General Chair for the 2016 INFORMS International Meeting to be held in Hawaii. INFORMS is the largest society in the world for professionals in the field of operations research, management science, and analytics.
Department head and professor Vipin Kumar (computer science and engineering) was named Distinguished Alumnus by his alma mater in Roorkee, India. Kumar graduated from the India Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee (then Roorkee University) with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in 1977.
Associate professor Dan Keefe (computer science and engineering) has been selected to receive the Guillermo E. Borja Career Development Award. The Borja award recognizes the exceptional research and scholarly accomplishments of assistant professors and comes with $3000 to use for scholarly and research activities.
Associate professor Kevin Dorfman (chemical engineering and materials science) has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 AES Mid-Career Award. The award is given for exceptional contributions to the field of electrophoresis, microfluidics, and related areas by an individual who is currently in the middle of their career.
Assistant professor Pavlo Pylyavskyy (mathematics) has been awarded a five-year career grant award from the National Science Foundation. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.
Professor Catherine French (civil engineering) has received the 2014 George W. Taylor/College of Science and Engineering Award for Distinguished Service.
Associate professor Julian Marshall (civil engineering) has received the 2014 Charles E. Bower Faculty Teaching Award.
Professor Sachin Sapatnekar (electrical and computer engineering) received the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) University Research Award for his “trailblazing work in the field of semiconductor research.” This award, created in 1995, recognizes lifetime achievements. The Semiconductor Research Corporation members select the recipient.
Associate professor Aaron Massari (chemistry) has received the 2014 George W. Taylor/College of Science & Engineering Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to undergraduate and/or graduate teaching.
Associate professor Christy Haynes (chemistry) has been honored with the 2014 College of Science & Engineering's George W. Taylor Award for Distinguished Research. This award honors faculty members who have shown outstanding research ability.
Professor Lorraine Francis (chemical engineering and materials science), teaching professor Paul Imbertson (electrical and computer engineering), and associate professor Jane Wissinger (chemistry) were all selected as winners of the 2014 Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education.
Professor Marc Hillmyer (chemistry) and professor Ned Mohan (electrical and computer engineering) were selected as winners of the 2014 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education.
Professor Ellen Longmire (aerospace engineering and mechanics) was elected to Vice Chair of the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) for 2014.
Professor Ramesh Harjani (electrical and computer engineering) has accepted appointment to the ACE4S Advisory Committee, ATIC-SRC Center of Excellence for Energy-Efficient Electronic Systems (ACE4S) in the United Arab Emirates.
Professor Nikos Sidiropoulos (electrical and computer engineering) has been elected a Fellow of the European Association for Signal Processing (EURASIP) for his contributions to tensor decomposition and signal processing for communications.
Professors Larry Edwards and Marc Hirschmann (earth sciences) have both been selected as new Fellows of the Geochemical Society.
Doctoral student Karthik Subbian (computer science and engineering) has been awarded the prestigious IBM Ph.D. Fellowship, a highly competitive worldwide program honoring exceptional Ph.D. students.
Assistant professor Michele Guala (civil engineering) has received a faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his novel research on mechanisms to manipulate meandering fluid flows and the resulting erosion and deposition of sediments on streambeds and banks.
Professor Vipin Kumar (computer science and engineering) was named Distinguished Alumnus by India Institute of Technology, Roorkee, where he received his bachelor's of engineering degree.
Kyle Dukart, associate academic adviser (electrical and computer engineering) has been awarded the 2013-2014 John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising.
Professor Sergey Bobkov (mathematics) has received the Humboldt Research Award recognizing his research accomplishments in Probability, Analysis and Convex Geometry.
Assistant professor Jake Bailey (earth sciences) and assistant professor Kai-Wen Lan (mathematics), have been awarded prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowships. Each will receive a grant of $50,000 over a two-year period to further research in their respective areas.
Associate Professor Ryan Elliott (aerospace engineering and mechanics) has been awarded the 2014 Thomas J. R. Hughes Young Investigator Award from the Applied Mechanics Division of ASME. The award recognizes special achievements in Applied Mechanics for researchers under the age of 40. Ryan received this award for pioneering work in the area of atomistic simulations of shape memory alloys using modern bifurcation theory and stability to quantify the thermally and stress-induced martensitic transformations in shape memory alloys.
Professor Ned Mohan (electrical and computer engineering) has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his contributions to the integration of electronics into power systems and to innovations in power engineering education. Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer.
Assistant professor James Van de Ven (mechanical engineering) and assistant professor David J. Flannigan (chemical engineering and materials science) are recipients of the 2014-15 McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, a program designed to advance the careers of the most promising junior faculty members who are at the beginning stages of their professional careers. Each recipient will receive a research grant in each year of the two-year appointment, to be used at the recipient's discretion for expenditures directly related to research and scholarly activities.
Professor Alex Kamanev (physics) was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society for "for advancing the methods of quantum kinetic theory."
Professor Roberta Humphreys (astronomy) was made an honorary fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. This designation honors Astronomers outside of Great Britain who have made important contributions to the field of Astronomy. Humphreys joins a list of only 35 other American Astronomers who have been honorary RAS fellows.
Assistant professor Kai-Wen Lan (mathematics), assistant professor Will Northrop (mechanical engineering) have been awarded a five year Career grant award from NSF. The Career award is the National Science Foundation's most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.
Professor Jim Leger (electrical and computer engineering) has been named the Senior Deputy Editor of Optics Express. OpEx is the largest scientific journal devoted to the optical sciences, publishing more than 3000 peer-reviewed articles a year.
Assistant Professor Mo Li (electrical and computer engineering) received a five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award to support his research on integrated photonics.
Professor Mihailo Jovanovic (electrical and computer engineering) received the 2013 George S. Axelby Outstanding Paper Award from the IEEE Control Systems Society for his paper with Bassam Bamieh, Partha Mitra, and Stacy Patterson titled "Coherence in Large-Scale Networks: Dimension-Dependent Limitations of Local Feedback".
The College of Science and Engineering will receive a gift of $1 million over five years from Minneapolis-based Valspar Corporation, provided through the Valspar Foundation. This gift will be used to provide high-tech equipment for the University’s new undergraduate laboratory, an essential component of modern education and research in materials science.
Assistant professor John Gunnar Carlsson (industrial and systems engineering) has been selected by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) to receive a grant through the 2014 Young Investigator Research Program (YIP). This year AFOSR received 234 proposals in major research areas of interest to the Air Force. Grants were awarded to 42 scientists and engineers from 32 research institutions. Carlsson’s research proposal entitled, “Allocating Geographic Resources Optimally,” focuses on the development of new algorithms for a wide variety of geographic optimization problems, such as facility location, backbone network design, and vehicle routing.
Assistant professor Dan Knights (computer science and engineering) and his collaborator at Mayo Clinic, Purna Kashyap, have been awarded a two-year grant for $976,896. The goals of the project are to understand the roles of gut microbes in irritable bowel syndrome, and to develop approaches for shifting the gut microbiome of patients toward a healthier state.