Thursday, July 09, 2009

VU Engineer draws accolades from Obama Administration

[Updated 4:42 p.m.] he White House announced today Vanderbilt University School of Engineering (VUSE) Assistant Professor Sharon Weiss (at left), an engineer, is among recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on "young professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers." Weiss is an assistant professor of electrical engineering and physics. The awards -- and five-year research grants of unspecified amounts -- go annually to 100 distinguished scientists and engineers, and are awarded by the incumbent President, with the program coordinated by the President's office of science and technology policy. President Barack Obama said in a statement on the occasion today, "These extraordinarily gifted young scientists and engineers represent the best in our country... With their talent, creativity, and dedication, I am confident that they will lead their fields in new breakthroughs and discoveries and help us use science and technology to lift up our nation and our world." Previously, Weiss received a prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program Award, which came, the University said at the time, "with $400,000 over five years to support her efforts to achieve faster and more accurate detection of biological and chemical materials by using portable porous silicon waveguides. Her work has impact in medical diagnostics, environmental monitoring and homeland security." Weiss' interests span photonics, biosensing, optical properties of materials and optoelectronic devices, according to one of her webpages.

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