Navigation Links
Dr. Jeremy Robinson of NRL wins Presidential Early Career Award

Dr. Jeremy Robinson of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is a recipient of the 2012 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

Robinson studies graphene, a carbon nanomaterial. He's looking at how it can be used to detect chemicals, and how its electronic and mechanical properties can be used for nanoelectronic and radio frequency communication applications.

Robinson joined NRL as a postdoc in 2007 after his older brother, Dr. Josh Robinson, also did his postdoc here: "In fact, my brother sat at this desk," Robinson says with a laugh. "We are always in friendly competition. So this [Presidential award] is the latest feather in my cap."

The older Robinson had demonstrated that adding defects to carbon nanotubes makes them better chemical sensors (he's since joined the faculty at Penn State). The younger Robinson, who joined the fulltime NRL staff in 2008, sees his early work as building on his brother's. Instead of working with carbon atoms bonded in the shape of a tube, however, he studies carbon in a flat sheet. "Things worked out smashingly well," he says, "so it took off from there."

Robinson brings a materials science perspective to his current research, connecting material synthesis, material properties, and applications. The best chemical sensors are those that offer both sensitivity and specificity: "Designing graphene with specific defects is an ideal way to engineer its properties and potentially improve its sensor response."

Taking graphene, he introduces an atom of a different chemical species, like oxygen or fluorine. He'll then test sensor capability, mechanical strength, or optical properties. "We continue to be surprised about the range of interesting experiments and results," he says.

The White House announced the 102 award recipients on December 23, 2013. "We are grateful for their commitment to generating the scientific and technical advancements that will ensure America's global leadership for many years to come," said President Obama.

The first call Robinson made was to his dad; the second, to his brother.

Robinson sees major awards like this one as a way to achieve recognition amid a competitive field. He hopes it will help his work attract interest and funding, which in turn may lead to more breakthroughs and publications.

But recognition for its own sake is not his goal, he says. "The work is a creative outlet, and that is the driver for me going to the lab. It's very nice when those two meet up, in that your creative outlet can be recognized with an award like this. It feels very special."

Robinson credits collaboration across the NRL campus as essential to his early success. "I might talk to my postdoc advisor [Dr. Eric Snow] about this kind of problem. And he says, 'You should go talk to Paul in chemistry. You should go talk to Maxim in acoustics.' I think a lot of the interesting, new discoveries happen at those interfaces."

At NRL, he has become more connected to how his research improves technologies. "It's clear that you can't just survive on the core sciences alone here, you have to make yourself relevant for these end applications. I've shifted my thinking and efforts as best I can to plug into the application space of the Navy and Marine Corps. When I'm doing basic research, I'm thinking, how does it connect to sensing or electronics or mechanical systems?"

Robinson grew up in Friendsville, a town of 500 in western Maryland. Math always came to him easily, but it wasn't until his undergrad at Towson University that he became interested in materials science.

Working toward his 2007 PhD at UC Berkeley, he built on his technical knowledge by studying how nature organizes materials at the nanoscale and the properties that arise (with germanium, in particular): "There's two strategies to go very small: one is with a hammer and chisel; a more elegant way is to convince nature to grow you something very small, exactly where you want it." He also learned the communication and collaboration skills that would help him thrive at NRL: "Going to conferences, writing papersthese are critical to help people learn."

Robinson's very excited to go to the White House, and in fact admitted to going suit shopping this weekend. "I grew up in a very rural area and of course it's a nice thing to have someone from your community receive an award like this. I imagine it will be in the local paper soon."

Robinson has also published over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, holds one patent, and is a four-time winner of the Alan Berman Research Publication Award. And as for the sibling rivalry? "Our families got together this past weekend, and my brother brought a paper crown for me to wear. So he has a sense of humor about it."

This marks the third year in a row an NRL researcher has won a PECASE.

Contact: Kyra Wiens
Naval Research Laboratory

Related biology news :

1. NASA Goddard scientist receives Presidential Early Career Award
2. UCLAs Yi Tang receives Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from EPA
3. Scientists reveal why life got big in the Earths early oceans
4. Researchers discover potential drug targets for early onset glaucoma
5. Overexpression of splicing protein in skin repair causes early changes seen in skin cancer
6. White House lauds ONR-funded researchers for early success
7. Autism Speaks awards nearly $2.7 million for new research projects
8. Molecular markers used for assessment of early sciatic nerve injury
9. International gene therapy trial for bubble boy disease shows promising early results
10. Alzheimers risk gene may begin to affect brains as early as childhood, CAMH research shows
11. Your first hug: How the early embryo changes shape
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Dr. Jeremy Robinson of NRL wins Presidential Early Career Award
(Date:11/10/2015)...  In this report, the biomarkers market ... type, application, disease indication, and geography. The ... consumables, services, software. The type segments included ... biomarkers, and validation biomarkers. The applications segments ... drug discovery and development, personalized medicine, disease ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... ) ... "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" ... ) has announced the addition of ... 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... New York , November 4, 2015 ... to a new market report published by Transparency Market ... Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global ... of US$ 30.3 bn by 2022. The market is ... the forecast period from 2015 to 2022. Rising security ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 Capricor Therapeutics, ... focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class ... Chief Executive Officer, is scheduled to present at the ... at 10:50 a.m. EST, at The Lotte New York ... . . --> ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... Whitehouse Laboratories is pleased to announce that it has completed construction on ... to basic USP 61, USP 62 and USP 51 testing specific to raw materials ... micro testing performed by one supplier. Management has formally announced that the ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... 23, 2015 China Cord Blood Corporation (NYSE: ... provider of cord blood collection, laboratory testing, hematopoietic stem ... its preliminary unaudited financial results for the second quarter ... 30, 2015. --> --> ... Revenues for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 increased ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... PISCATAWAY, New Jersey , November 23, ... Centre (CCDC) announces the launch of the ... and the CSD-System, now complemented by three powerful ... support the discovery of new molecules, CSD-Materials for ... complete set of the CCDC,s applications incorporating CSD-Discovery ...
Breaking Biology Technology: