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School of Engineering

Faculty receive CAREER Awards

Monday, March 13, 2017

Assistant Professors Iryna Zenyuk, Xiaocheng Jiang, and Robert C. Viesca received CAREER Awards, the National Science Foundation's most prestigious award in support of junior faculty.

Assistant Professors Iryna Zenyuk, Xiaocheng Jiang, and Rob Viesca
Assistant Professors Iryna Zenyuk, Xiaocheng Jiang, and Robert Viesca.

Assistant Professor Iryna Zenyuk of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Assistant Professor Xiaocheng Jiang of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Assistant Professor Robert C. Viesca of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have received CAREER Awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CAREER Award reviewing, award, and selection process is one of the most competitive within the NSF, and the awards support talented, promising researchers as they build the foundation for a lifetime of leadership.

Zenyuk received an award for her proposal to study the mechanisms of ion transport in ionomer-free electrodes. The goal of her work is to determine specific factors which limit the performance of polymer electrolyte fuel cells using thin-film electrodes, allowing work to progress on overcoming these hurdles. The gained knowledge could have a transformative effect on the field of electrochemical energy conversion and storage.

Jiang will explore and investigate bio-derived conductive protein nanowires as a new category of nanoelectronic probes for minimally invasive cellular interfacing and signal transduction. This work could enable new possibilities for biomedical applications in prostheses, cardiac repair and regeneration, and brain-machine interfaces.

Viesca received a CAREER Award for his proposal to examine physical basis for the emergence of slow aseismic fault slip. The work will advance understanding in areas under consideration for fault operation during the seismic cycle and earthquake hazard assessment, including injection-induced fault slip.