WINTER 2020 |
The Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships congratulates the following people for their recent awards, honors and achievements.
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Seven Purdue University professors have been elected to the distinction of fellow from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society. The professors are being honored for their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.
The fellows from Purdue are Mary Catherine Aime, professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology; Jeffrey Dukes, professor in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources and the Department of Biological Sciences; Gerhard Klimeck, professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Laura J. Pyrak-Nolte, distinguished professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy; Gintaras (Rex) Reklaitis, the Burton and Kathryn Gedge Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering; Paul Robinson, professor in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences; and Jin-Rong Xu, professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology.
The 2020 fellows were announced in November in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science. A virtual induction ceremony for the new fellows will be held on Feb. 13 during the annual Fellows Forum.
These new fellows will receive an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin to commemorate their election. Fellows are nominated from all disciplines of science and engineering, which makes it broader than any technical society.
National Academy of Medicine
Regan Bailey, a professor in the Department of Nutrition Science, has been elected as one of 100 new members of the National Academy of Medicine. Bailey was recognized for her continued work on improving the methods to measure nutritional status for optimal health outcomes, including better understanding of intake exposures and the use of dietary supplements. Her research has highlighted the pervasive use of dietary supplements and how these products contribute to dietary disparities by race, sex, age and poverty, and how they relate to health. She also directs Indiana CTSI’s Purdue Diet Assessment Center
Society and association awards
Laura Pyrak-Nolte, distinguished professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been awarded the Reginald Fessenden Award from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. Pyrak-Nolte was honored for her groundbreaking research on fluid flow versus elastic stiffness and fracture surface properties. Her research provides a promising approach for inferring fluid flow properties from seismic data in fractured rock.
Bryan Boudouris, professor in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering and the Department of Chemistry, has been selected by the American Physical Society to receive the 2021 John H. Dillon Medal. The award recognizes the outstanding research accomplishments of young polymer physicists who have demonstrated exceptional research promise early in their careers. Boudouris was selected for his “fundamental insights connecting polymer structure with charge transport in free radical conducting polymers, organic electronics and functional block copolymers.”
Marissa Tremblay, assistant professor of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, is the recipient of the Doris M. Curtis Outstanding Woman in Science Award from the Geological Society of America. The award is presented to an outstanding woman that has impacted the field of the geosciences in a major way based on her PhD research. Tremblay’s thesis work developed a fundamentally new form of geochemical paleothermometry which she calls Cosmogenic Noble Gas Paleothermometry. The word “cosmogenic ” refers to new atoms that are produced when high-energy cosmic rays from outer space hit existing atoms in rocks. These interactions only happen at the very surface of planets like Earth.
Andrea Vacca, professor in Agricultural and Biological Engineering and in the School of Mechanical Engineering, has received the 2019 Joseph Bramah Medal, conferred virtually during the Bath/ASME Symposium on Fluid Power and Motion Control. Vacca, who leads the Maha Fluid Power Research Center at Purdue, was honored for his contributions to global fluid power research, particularly related to gear pumps. The Maha Fluid Power Research Center is the largest academic laboratory in the United States entirely dedicated to research in fluid power. Vacca’s research relates to hydraulic systems and components, mostly pumps and hydraulic control valves
R&D 100 Award
Purdue University’s nanoHUB.org has been chosen as one of the recipients of a 2020 R&D 100 Award. Honored with the citation, “nanoHUB: Making Simulation and Data Pervasive,” nanoHUB presents powerful research-grade simulation codes as easy-to-use apps that anyone can access in a web browser. This frictionless access allows researchers to work without barriers, educators to provide richer experiences for their students, and students to learn by rapid virtual experimentation.
Founded at Purdue in 1998 by Mark Lundstrom, now the Scifres Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the acting dean of the College of Engineering, nanoHUB has been supported by the National Science Foundation since 2002. The R&D100 award was bestowed on the whole nanoHUB team, which is currently led by four principal investigators.
Gerhard Klimeck, now professor of electrical and computer engineering, worked with Lundstrom and others on the 2002 NSF proposal and has been leading the nanoHUB App development as technical director since 2003. He has led nanoHUB as a director since 2009. Alejandro Strachan, now professor of materials engineering, joined the nanoHUB team in 2005 and has led as deputy director since 2013. Lynn Zentner joined 2010 as technical director and serves as managing director. Michael Zentner joined nanoHUB in 2010 to lead the user behavior analytics and has been leading the HUBzero platform development since 2015.
Early career awards
Andrew Mugler, adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Science, has received a National Science Foundation CAREER award for his project, “Building a Theory of Collective Cellular Sensing with Applications to Morphogenesis, Chemotaxis and Metastasis.” Mugler’s project will seek to develop a comprehensive theory of collective cellular sensing, focusing on three examples from cell biology — morphogenesis in Drosophila, chemotaxis in E. coli, and metastasis of breast cancer and melanoma cells, where experiments suggest that cell-cell communication enhances sensing, but the mechanism of enhancement is poorly understood.
Dianyun Zhang, assistant professor in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics in the College of Engineering, has received a National Science Foundation CAREER award for her project, “Pushing the Performance Limit of Composite Structures: Integrated Modeling of Manufacturing Processes and Materials.” Zhang will focus on understanding fundamental aspects of fiber-reinforced polymer composite manufacturing processes, developing high-fidelity, physics-based models to predict the processing–performance relation of fibrous composites, and building an inclusive workforce pipeline for the U.S. composites manufacturing industry. Zhang joined Purdue in August 2020.
NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program supports early-career faculty with the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Activities pursued by early-career faculty should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.
Michelle Thompson, assistant professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences in the College of Science, has been awarded a NASA Early Career Fellowship. Thompson, who has been at Purdue since 2018, seeks to understand the alteration of planetary materials after their formation, specifically the evolution of airless body surfaces. Her work is directly applicable to samples already returned by the Apollo and Hayabusa missions, and is relevant for the upcoming OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa2 missions. Thompson will use the funding from the fellowship to purchase major equipment for her laboratory, as well as to fund travel to conferences for herself and her students.
The NASA Early Career Fellowship (ECF) program supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulates research careers in the areas supported by the NASA Planetary Sciences Division. The program is based on the idea that supporting key individuals is a critical mechanism for achieving high impact science that will lead the field forward with new concepts, technologies and methods.
More than a dozen mid- and early-career faculty members have been chosen to receive funding from the Ralph W. & Grace M. Showalter Research Trust Fund. Rong Huang, an associate professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology; Nicholas Noinaj, an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences; Maggie O’Haire, an associate professor of human-animal interaction in the Center for the Human-Animal Bond in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology; and Yulia Pushkar, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, have been appointed as new Showalter University Faculty Scholars. They join nine additional Showalter Scholars appointed in prior years at Purdue University. Faculty members were nominated in partnership with the provost’s University Faculty Scholars program and approved by an external selection committee of distinguished scientists representing the Showalter Research Trust. Funding from the trust, $5,000 annually, complements equivalent funding from the Office of the Provost.
Eleven early-career faculty members also will receive one-year Showalter Trust grants. They are Brittany Allen-Petersen, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences; Uma Aryal, research assistant professor in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology; Abram Axelrod, assistant professor, Department of Chemistry and Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology; Xiaoping Bao, assistant professor, Davidson School of Chemical Engineering; Tzu-Wen Cross, assistant professor, Department of Nutrition Science; Sa Liu, assistant professor, School of Health Sciences; Maria Dadarlat Makin, assistant professor, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering; Uzay Emir, assistant professor, School of Health Sciences; Matthew Olson, assistant professor, Department of Biological Sciences; Andrea Pires Santos, assistant professor, Department of Comparative Pathobiology; and Joshua Widhalm, assistant professor, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture.
Faculty members were chosen by the external Showalter Selection Committee after review by an internal Purdue committee. Priority was given to proposals that have a high potential to yield federal grants and that are likely to turn into long-term research programs that outlive the one-year funding period. Each researcher will receive $75,000 in funding.
The Ralph W. and Grace M. Showalter Trust program was established in 1975 to support research in the priority areas of environmental science; biochemistry and molecular biology; disease prevention, diagnosis, progression, treatment and control; new technologies for food production, preservation, distribution and safety; and medical and biophysical instrumentation. In addition to University Faculty Scholars for mid-career professionals and one-year funding for early-career professionals, the trust also supports two Showalter Distinguished Professors at Purdue, Charles Bouman and Kinam Park.
New editorial roles
Kaveh Akbar, assistant professor in the Department of English, has been appointed as poetry editor at The Nation, a publication platform for the world’s most renowned voices in poetry and literature. The position allows Akbar to work with new voices, challenge the notions of poetry and push the traditional frameworks of American publishing. Akbar is the author of “Calling a Wolf a Wolf,” and the chapbook, “Portrait of the Alcoholic.”
Laura Schwab Reese, assistant professor in the College of Health and Human Sciences, has been appointed to the editorial board of the American Journal of Public Health. Schwab Reese has worked in a wide range of injury topics, including intimate partner violence, suicide, opioid overdose, traffic safety culture, bullying, teen driving, sports injury and child abuse, but she is particularly interested in primary prevention of violence perpetration. Her approach to violence prevention is guided by a theoretical framework that suggests internal factors, such as mental health, substance use and adverse childhood experiences contribute to a behavioral predisposition to perpetration.