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Two Receive NSF CAREER Awards

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June 14, 2005

Two faculty members -- Vicky Kalogera and Lincoln J. Lauhon -- have received Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The CAREER program recognizes and supports the early-career development activities of those teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century.

Kalogera’s CAREER project, “Theoretical Studies of Compact Objects in Binary Systems,” will involve theoretical research related to the formation and evolution of binary systems with compact objects. The primary goals are to uncover the evolutionary history of X-ray binaries with black holes; develop models of X-ray binary populations in a wide range of galactic environments; and undertake theoretical work on the evolution of triple-star systems.

An assistant professor of physics and astronomy, Kalogera conducts research related to binary stellar systems with neutron stars and black holes that are primary sources of X-ray emission and gravitational waves.

She is the recipient of a 2002 David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship in Science and

Engineering, a five-year, $625,000 award to “encourage the nation’s most promising young university professors to pursue their science and engineering research” and the 2002 Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy from the American Association of University Women and the American Astronomical Society for “distinguished contributions to astronomy or for similar contributions in related sciences which have immediate applications to astronomy.”

Lauhon, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, will use his CAREER award to apply two powerful techniques, atom probe tomography and scanning probe tomography, to connect the atomic-scale composition of semiconductor nanowires with their nanoscale properties.

His research encompasses the synthesis, characterization and application of new semiconducting nanomaterials with useful properties. His research group addresses three key aspects of nanoscience and technology: the design and synthesis of novel low-dimensional materials, in particular inorganic nanowires; the development of proximal probe techniques for nanoscale electrical, optical and magnetic characterization; and the realization of new device technologies enabled by nanomaterials research.

A Junior Fellow at the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence (2004-05), Lauhon has served as a peer reviewer for Applied Physics Letters and other professional journals.