Air Force invests over $14M for 2010 Young Investigators Research Program

October 27, 2009

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research today announced it will award approximately 14.6 million in grants to 38 scientists and engineers who submitted winning research proposals through the Air Force's Young Investigator Research Program.

The YIP is open to scientists and engineers at research institutions across the United States who have received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in the last five years and show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research.

The objective of this program is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering.

According to AFOSR officials, competition for the YIP award is intense. This year AFOSR received 202 proposals in response to the AFOSR broad agency announcement solicitation in major areas of interest to the Air Force. The areas of interest include: aerospace, chemical and material sciences; physics and electronics; and mathematics, information and life sciences. AFOSR officials select proposals based on the evaluation criteria listed in the broad agency announcement. Those selected will receive the grants over a 3 to 5-year period.

The recipients and their anticipated research areas are:

Dr. Seth R. Bank, The University of Texas, Austin, will work on manipulating the interfacial electrical and optical properties of dissimilar materials with metallic nanostructures.

Dr. Mikhail A. Belkin, The University of Texas, Austin, will investigate tunable quantum electronic metamaterials for mid-infrared range.

Dr. David L. Burris, University of Delaware, will focus on linking tribofilm nanomechanics to the origins of low friction and wear.

Dr. Ross H. Burrows, The University of Alabama, Huntsville, will study space weather effects due to shock acceleration.

Dr. Tal Carmon, University of Michigan, will investigate continuous on-chip extreme uv emitter.

Dr. Erica L. Corral, The University of Arizona, will work on enabling dynamic oxidation mechanisms in reverse infiltrated ultra-high temperature ceramic coated C-C composites for application in hypersonics.

Dr. Xu Du, Stony Brook University, will conduct research on graphene-superconductor junctions and their applications in ultra-high sensitivity bolometers.

Dr. Mohamed Y. El-Naggar, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, will investigate biotic-abiotic nanoscale interactions in biological fuel cells.

Dr. Thomas Lawlor Griffiths, University of California, Berkley, will focus on fast, flexible, rational inductive inference.

Dr. Christopher Scott Hartley, Miami University, will study cross-conjugated nanoarchitectures.

Dr. Michael A. Hermele, University of Colorado, Boulder, will research topological states of matter and other novel phases of ultracold alkaline earth fermions.

Dr. Tracey Ho, California Institute of Technology, will work on robust network transmission and storage using coding.

Dr. Jung-Wuk Hong, Michigan State University, will study coupling of peridynamics and finite element formulation for multiscale simulations.

Dr. Kenneth L. Knappenberger, Jr., The Florida State University, will investigate magnetoplasmonic nanomaterials: a route to predictive photocatalytic, light-harvesting and ferrofluidic Properties.

Dr. Piyush Kumar, The Florida State University, will work on geometric clustering and its applications.

Dr. Jr-Shin Li, Washington University, St. Louis, will conduct research on robust manipulation and computation for inhomogeneous quantum ensembles.

Dr. Yang Liu, The University of Texas, Dallas, will work on computational modeling of emotions and affect in social-cultural interaction.

Dr. Alan J. H. McGaughey, Carnegie Mellon University, will investigate quantum mechanics-driven prediction of nanostructure thermal conductivity.

Dr. Abhay Narayan Pasupathy, Columbia University, will focus on microscopic understanding of device performance in graphne and other low-dimensional quantum materials.

Dr. Eric Pop, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will work on carbon-based avalanche devices for low-power electronics.

Dr. Brian C. Odom, Northwestern University, will research on-demand rotational state preparation and molecular quantum logic spectroscopy.

Dr. Rafael Pass, Cornell University, will develop new models for protocol security.

Dr. Per-Olof Persson, University of California, Berkeley, will work on efficient and robust high-order methods for fluid and solid mechanics.

Dr. Stefan F. Preble, Rochester Institute of Technology, will investigate dynamic silicon nanophotonics.

Dr. Matthew J. Ringuette, The State University of New York, Buffalo, will work on flapping-wing propulsion characterized using optimal vortex formation.

Dr. Tobias Ritter, Harvard College, will focus on synthesis of one-dimensional pd(iii) wires.

Dr. Joshua L. Rovey, Missouri University of Science & Technology, will investigate energy conversion and loss processes in heavy gas, field-reversed configuration electric thruster plasma.

Dr. R. Mohan Sankaran, Case Western Reserve University, will conduct research on microplasma-assisted dissociation of chemical precursors for nanomaterials synthesis and processing.

Dr. Thomas E. Schwartzentruber, University of Minnesota, will investigate internal energy transfer and dissociation model development using accelerated first-principles simulations of hypersonic flow features.

Dr. Andrew D. Straw, California Institute of Technology, will focus on quantitative investigation of high level control of free-flight behavior in flies.

Dr. Brook O. Swanson, Gonzaga University, will work on discovery of high-performance biomaterials for defense applications.

Dr. Ashkan Vaziri, Northeastern University, will study bio-inspired interfaces for hybrid structures.

Dr. Michael Walfish, The University of Texas, Austin, will conduct investigation on secure-by-design networks via explicit route control.

Dr. Daniel Wasserman, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, will investigate active plasmonics: free space steering and directional control.

Dr. Emily A. Weiss, Northwestern University, will focus on electrochemical reduction of CO2 at a TiO2 electrode using quantum dots as multi-electron.

Dr. Yiquan Wu, University of Rochester, will research anisotropic laser ceramics and single crystal derivatives.

Dr. Eric Poe Xing, Carnegie Mellon University, will investigate socioscape on real-time analysis of dynamic heterogeneous networks in complex socio-cultural systems.

Dr. Jingyi Yu, University of Delaware, will develop a new hybrid camera array for tracking and reconstruction under low light.

Air Force Office of Scientific Research

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