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University of Texas engineers receive $3.2 million in National Science Foundation CAREER awards
Date:2/17/2009

AUSTIN, TexasEight engineering assistant professors at The University of Texas at Austin have been awarded Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards from the National Science Foundation, an honor which recognizes promising young faculty and supports their research with five years of funding.

The Cockrell School of Engineering's winners include: Adela Ben-Yakar of Mechanical Engineering; Christine Julien of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Mary Jo Kirisits of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering; Alexis Kwasinski of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Laura J. Suggs of Biomedical Engineering; Emanuel Tutuc of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Haris Vikalo of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Xiaojing (John) Zhang of Biomedical Engineering.

Each received $400,000 or more, bringing the total to $3.2 million-plus.

Ben-Yakar is proposing to develop a new laser surgery technique called "plasmonic laser nanosurgery" that uses nanoscale focusing of light (via metallic nanoparticles) to ablate or vaporize nanoscale structures in live cells and organisms. Because the nanoparticles are also bright-contrast agents when illuminated with ultra-short laser pulses, they can be used with her two-photon microscope probe, which combines both therapeutics and imaging capabilities.

"Together, we have the potential to develop one of the most powerful 'seek-and-treat' tools," Ben-Yakar said.

Julien's work seeks to improve delay-tolerant communication networks, which are characterized by extreme unpredictability of connectivity due to disconnections between senders and receivers that can persist for a long time. Such networks are becoming important due to their increasing applications that enable Internet in remote areas, mobile search, and rescue and social networking.

As part of the project, Julien will develop an adaptive middleware that coordinates the communication among mobile applications
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Contact: Daniel J. Vargas
daniel.vargas2@engr.utexas.edu
512-471-7541
University of Texas at Austin
Source:Eurekalert

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