Ten UC Riverside assistant professors have received prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards from the National Science Foundation. CAREER Awards last for five years and support early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.
- Mechanistic Studies of Secondary Organic Aerosol Production from Biomass Burning Derived Precursors, by Kelley Barsanti, assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering at BCOE and its affiliate, CE-CERT. The project will elucidate some of the complex chemistry in fire plumes that leads to poor air quality, and to improve model representation of air pollutant formation from fires.
- Linking the IGM and Galaxies Near Reionization, by George Becker, assistant professor of physics and astronomy. The world’s largest telescopes will investigate the connection between galaxies and their environments during the first billion years of cosmic history and fund the establishment of a campus observatory for education and outreach.
- Materials and Interphase Engineering in Rechargeable Aluminum Batteries, by Juchen Guo, assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering. This project investigates a new type of rechargeable battery based on aluminum metal anode, namely Al-ion batteries, which can achieve the high capacity required by renewable energy storage applications.
- Hybrid Borane Platforms for the Activation of Small Molecules of Energy Consequence, by William Harman, assistant professor of chemistry. Award supports development of new boron-based small molecule platforms for the catalysis of energy storage reactions such as hydrogen evolution and the reduction of CO2 to chemical fuels.
- Situational Awareness Strategies for Autonomous Systems in Dynamic Uncertain Environments, by Zak Kassas, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. This research aims to develop theory and technology to evolve cyber-physical systems, such as unmanned aerial vehicles and self-driving cars, from merely sensing the environment to making sense of the environment.
- Anisotropic Suppression of Lattice Thermal Conductivity through the Interaction between Phonons and Thermal Magnetic Excitations, by Chen Li, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and the materials science and engineering program. This project seeks to design an innovative thermal switch, which allows the control of heat flow by magnetism.
- Computational and statistical methods for allele-specific chromatin structure analysis, by Wenxiu Ma, assistant professor of statistics. The award supports development of analysis tools that can distinguish the Hi-C, or equivalent, information that comes from the paired maternal and paternal chromosomes in diploid organisms, like humans and other mammals.
- Direct Radical Functionalization of Alcohols using Cobalt Photocatalysis, by David Martin, assistant professor of chemistry. The Martin lab is researching new catalysts that can convert light energy into chemical energy using the Earth-abundant metal cobalt. They aim to discover new ways to convert cheap biomass into value-added chemicals.
- Linking Lateral Cell Polarity with Tissue Patterning in Plant Development, by Jaimie Van Norman, assistant professor of plant cell and developmental biology. The goals of this project are to study the links between plant cell polarity and root development and to integrate active research modules designed to improve engagement and retention of undergraduate students in biology.
- Transducer-Centric Parallelization for Scalable Semi-Structured Data Processing, by Zhijia Zhao, assistant professor of computer science and engineering. The award supports research on constructing parallel computation models that will enable scalable parallel processing of semi-structured data, which has shown growing popularity in the big data era.
UC Riverside has more active CAREER Awards, totaling over $16.5 million, than any other public university in California.
“These prestigious awards are very competitive and the fact that UC Riverside received so many reflects the depth and breadth of UC Riverside’s research, as well as our institutional commitment to developing future leaders in research and education,” said Michael Pazzani, vice chancellor for Research and Economic Development and professor of computer science and engineering.