ENG Prof Wins Young Investigator Award

in ME Spotlight Faculty, MSE Spotlight Faculty, NEWS

Grants given to scientists whose research holds promise across a range of areas

James Bird, an ENG assistant professor of mechanical engineering, whose research in fluid dynamics focuses on the capillary dynamics of drops and bubbles, is among the awardees. Photo by Vernon Doucette
James Bird, an ENG assistant professor of mechanical engineering, whose research in fluid dynamics focuses on the capillary dynamics of drops and bubbles, is among the awardees. Photo by Vernon Doucette.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has announced awards of $25 million to 47 scientists—including a College of Engineering mechanical engineer—whose exceptionally creative research holds promise across a range of naval-relevant science and technology areas, from robotics to solar cells.

James Bird, an ENG assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science & engineering, whose research in fluid dynamics focuses on the capillary dynamics of drops and bubbles, is among the awardees.

The awards are granted through the ONR’s 2016 Young Investigator Program (YIP), one of the oldest and most selective scientific research advancement programs in the country. Its purpose is to fund early-career academic researcherscalled investigatorswhose scientific pursuits show outstanding promise for supporting the Department of Defense, while also promoting their professional development.

For awardees, the funding supports laboratory equipment, graduate student stipends and scholarships, and other expenses critical to ongoing and planned investigational studies. Typical grants are $510,000 over a three-year period with additional funds available for equipment.

This year’s candidates were selected from 280 highly qualified applicants based on past performance, technical merit, potential scientific breakthrough, and long-term university commitment. All are college and university faculty who have obtained tenure-track positions within the past five years.

Awardees represent 34 academic institutions across the country, in disciplines including optoelectronics, corrosion, biofilms, organic semiconductors, structural dynamics, combustion, ocean-atmospheric interaction, metamaterials, energetic materials, active flow control, efficient computing, foodborne diseases, and warfighter training.

“The YIP Program is in its 31st year at ONR and the award is still very competitive,” says Larry Schuette, director of research at the Office of Naval Research. “We are fortunate to be able to attract the top researchers to the fundamental science that underpins the Navy and Marine Corps of today, tomorrow, and the future.”

See the list of 2016 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator awardees.