Two faculty members named NAI senior members
Afsaneh Rabiei, professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE), and Zlatko Sitar, Kobe Steel Distinguished Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, were among the 95 emerging academic inventors named senior members of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).
Rabiei leads research on the processing and characterization of advanced materials, metal foam, coatings and composites within the Advanced Materials Research Laboratory.
Sitar founded the Wide Band Gaps research laboratory that focuses on bulk and thin film growth and characterization and device development in wide bandgap semiconductors.
Established in 2018, this NAI fellowship is awarded to inventors who have made significant contributions within their disciplines. To be considered for election, candidates must be active employees, faculty members, scientists or administrators with success in patents, licensing and commercialization that have resulted in technologies that have brought or have the potential to trigger real impact.
Crook receives NSF CAREER Award
Nathan Crook, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE), received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award for his proposal, “Enhancing Probiotic Yeast Colonization for Stable in Situ Biomanufacturing.”
His project focuses on engineering Saccharomyces boulardii, a probiotic yeast, to reside for longer periods of time in the gut than it normally does by encouraging it to metabolize and bind to the sugars that line the interior of the human gut wall. This work has the potential to identify how fungi can colonize in the gut while also potentially producing drugs that help fight inflammatory bowel disease and C. difficile infections.
The NSF CAREER Award is one of the most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. They receive their funding over five years from NSF.
Spontak receives 2022 R.J. Reynolds Award
Richard Spontak, Distinguished Professor in CBE, received the 2022 R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Extension in honor of his contributions to his discipline and his dedication to student mentorship.
Widely recognized as a global leader in nanostructured polymer systems, he has published 300 peer-reviewed publications, received six patents, given 350 invited talks and was featured on 21 international journal covers and one book cover. His impact is further quantified by over 14,000 citations and an h-index of 61, with 11 papers cited over 200 times.
Spontak is considered by many engineering students and faculty members to be an outstanding mentor and instructor. This is due to his ability to create a welcoming environment where he exposes students to interdisciplinary research while enhancing their learning through introductions to world-class faculty members.
Bitzer named a Computer History Museum Fellow
Donald Bitzer, Distinguished University Research Professor in the Department of Computer Science, was named a 2022 Fellow by the Computer History Museum (CHM) for his global influence and outstanding contributions in the field of computer science through pioneering online education and communities with PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations) and co-inventing the plasma display.
The CHM Fellow Awards Program recognizes remarkable innovators for their notable contributions to the advancement of computing. This prestigious program exhibits the groundbreaking achievements of each Fellow and denotes their historical significance.
Simon elected AAAS Fellow
Sindee Simon, department head of CBE and Distinguished Professor, was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Simon was elected for her transformational contributions to materials physics and chemistry, particularly for novel experiments and modeling of non-equilibrium behavior of glasses and the impact of nanoconfinement on phase transitions and polymerization kinetics.
AAAS’s Council chooses Fellows on the basis of their contributions toward the advancement of science and its applications, and candidates are nominated by their peers and undergo an extensive review process before selection.