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UCF has broken its own record for the most number of National Science Foundation CAREER Award recipients this year. The university leads the state and ranks third in the nation for boasting 11 award winners, three of whom are mechanical and aerospace engineering faculty members. The recipients are:

“I’m so proud of our faculty members. These awards are only the tip of the iceberg and they demonstrate the stellar competency of our faculty as a whole,” said Yoav Peles, the chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. “This is just the beginning and I’m sure that there are many more to come.”

Andrew Dickerson, Ranajay Ghosh and Helen Huang
Andrew Dickerson, Ranajay Ghosh and Helen Huang

CAREER Research Projects

The funding will support Dickerson’s research on the stability of liquids as they flow through gas, which has important implications for drug delivery, fabrication and thermal regulation. For Ghosh, the award will allow him to explore tunable exoskeleton structures, which could serve as platform for researchers to develop advanced soft- and human-integrated collaborative robots.

The funds will also enable Huang to use electroencephalography to study the brain and predict measures used to study the human body as it walks. She also plans to develop an outreach program, neuromechanics^girls, which will support and encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM.

“I am very excited to have received an NSF CAREER award from the engineering in biomedical systems program because it shows the breadth of my research,” Huang said. “I typically pursue funding from the National Institutes of Health and a couple of years ago, received an NIH R01 from the National Institute on Aging. Few assistant professors have a NIH R01 and NSF CAREER, and I am the first person ever at UCF to have earned both.”

Four additional recipients came from the College of Engineering and Computer Science with another three from the College of Sciences. This equates to more than $4.5 million in funding for faculty research.

“The awards recognize what we’ve long known. We have talented faculty with a pioneering spirit and a drive to make an impact on the world,” says Elizabeth Klonoff, vice president for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies. “This year’s success also demonstrates the power of investing in people.”

The CAREER awards are among the most prestigious in the nation. The awards recognize early career professionals with promising research. The awards are part of the NSF’s Early Career Development Program and are given to recipients who have the potential to serve as academic role models and lead their respective fields.