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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Academics & Research

Assistant professors awarded grants

The National Science Foundation awarded five UH assistant professors with grants valued between $400,000 and $600,000 this year.

These grants, which are distributed annually to junior faculty in recognition of their outstanding integration of education and research programs, will be used to fund their projects — from self-sorting chemical systems to the improvement of polymer-based solar cells — according to a UH press release.

Civil and environmental engineering assistant professor, Debora Rodrigues, whose NSF Career Award is priced at $449, 967, won this award by going “beyond research in the laboratory and (looking) for applied and relevant approaches to solve real environmental problems,” she said.

One of Rodrigues’ outreach programs included the design and utilization of a system that would provide the Maseno community in Kenya with clean water, she said.

Chemistry Assistant Professor Angela Moeller, who won $473,071 through her NSF Career Award, said although the submission process took five months, she spent eighteen months preparing her proposal.

Moeller’s said she will use the grant to train “graduate students in the interdisciplinary field of material sciences.”

Another assistant professor of chemistry, Ognjen Miljanic, received $600,000 through his NSF Career Award and has developed an extensive website to compliment the courses he teaches in the chemistry department, he said.

Although most of his grant will go towards his research project, he said $10,000 will go to the development of his website.

Miljanic applied in July with a written proposal, which was sent to experts in his field for review, he said.

According to a UH press release, CAREER grants are “among the most prestigious awards offered by the National Science Foundation.”

Other professors whose research proposals earned NSF Career are Jiming Bao, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering with $400,000 and Gila Stein, assistant professor of chemical and bio-molecular engineering with $500,000.

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