Watson College NSF CAREER Award winners

Meet our NSF CAREER Award winners

The National Science Foundation has honored more than 20 Watson College faculty members over the past two decades with CAREER Awards, which support early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education.


pritam das

Pritam Das - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Multi-level Bridge Tapped Resonant (MBTR) Solid-State Transformers (SSTs)

Professor Das explores improving electrical transformers that will better integrate green energy such as solar and wind power into the power grid. Read more.

Tracy HOokway

Tracy Hookway - Department of Biomedical Engineering

Engineering Autonomic Control of Cardiac Tissues

Professor Hookway will explore the role of autonomic neural stimulation on the function of engineered cardiac tissues, studying the interplay between the sympathetic neurons that speed up the heart’s beat rate and the parasympathetic neurons that slow it down. Read more.


Ahyeon Koh - Department of Biomedical Engineering

Artificial Extracellular Matrix Biosensors (e-ECM)

Professor Koh will research better ways to attach biosensors. She has developed a flexible, porous material made from polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), a nontoxic silicone commonly used for biomedical purposes, which she says is better than the nonporous film that is most common now. Read more.


Seunghee Shin

Seunghee Shin - Department of Computer Science

Hardware/Software Co-design for Serverless Computing

Professor Shin is researching ways to shorten the distance between our devices and the information they need by creating a series of memory caches along the route, which would make cloud-based programs run faster. Read more.

Kaiyan Yu

Kaiyan Yu - Department of Mechanical Engineering

Simultaneous and Independent Control of Nanostructured Objects Through the Use of Coupled External Electric Fields

Professor Yu is investigating methods to independently manipulate large numbers of nanoscale objects precisely and reliably, a key step toward nanorobots with potential applications in medicine, electronics and materials science. Read more.

Pu Zhang

Pu Zhang - Department of Mechanical Engineering

Electro-Mechanical Behaviors of Soft Conductive Composites Embedded with Liquid Metal Fiber Networks

Professor Zhang wants to improve soft electronics by using liquid metal networks in rubber that can deform easily while remaining highly conductive. Read more.



Emrah Akyol - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

A Holistic Framework for the Analysis of Information Dynamics in Human Networks 

Professor Akyol is examining the use of game theory for leveling the playing field when different networks or senders and receivers have competing goals. Read more.


Jeremy Blackburn - Department of Computer Science

Towards a Data-driven Understanding of Online Sentiment

As part of his ongoing research to better monitor content on social media and elsewhere on the internet, Professor Blackburn wants to develop tools that can better sort and analyze users' posts, especially images. Read more.


Aravind Prakash - Department of Computer Science

Binary-Level Security via ABI-Centric Semantic Inference

Professor Prakash uses binary analysis techniques to understand the inner workings of a software and to identify potential holes that could let hackers in. Read more.


Mo Sha - Department of Computer Science

Advancing Network Configuration and Runtime Adaptation Methods for Industrial Wireless Sensor-Actuator Networks

Professor Sha is studying more efficient ways to run industrial wireless networks in settings such as factories and warehouses. Read more.


yao lui

Yao Liu - Department of Computer Science

System Research to Enable Practical Immersive Streaming: From 360-Degree Towards Volumetric Video Delivery

Professor Liu's research on immersive media centers on area-of-focus projections, which analyzes human behavior to decide which parts of a 360-degree image get most of a user’s attention and rendering those with the maximum amount of processing power. Read more.


Guanhua Yan - Department of Computer Science

Proactive Techniques for Enhancing Security and Resilience of Mobile Communication Infrastructure

Professor Yan is developing a three-layered, proactive defenses for the next-generation mobile communication infrastructures. 


Yifan Zhang - Department of Computer Science

Enabling Edge-hosted Private Services via Unikernel-based Lightweight Virtualization

Professor Zhang is working on improving wireless connectiviity by taking advantage of edge-based computing and unikernel-based programming to increase processing speed. Read more.



Scott Schiffres - Department of Mechanical Engineering

Intermetallic Interfacial Thermal Transport for Advanced Electronics Manufacturing

Professor Schiffres is seeking alloys that can dissipate heat more quickly than materials in current use, which has applications in additive manufacturing as well as electronics packaging and superalloys. Read more.


Ning Zhou - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Integrated Dynamic State Estimation for Monitoring Power Systems under High Uncertainty and Variation

Professor Zhou's research seeks to provide a vision for power systems as fossil fuels wane and renewable energy sources take center stage. Read more.



Tara Dhakal - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Toward Twenty Year Lifetime: Hermetic Sealing for Perovskite Solar Cells

Professor Dhakal's work focuses on solar cells made with perovskite, a crystalline mineral found in nature that has shown the potential to create solar cells that are just as efficient as the silicon-based type. Read more.


Guy German - Department of Biomedical Engineering

Understanding the Multi-scale Failure Mechanics of Human Skin with Age, Ultraviolet Photodamage and Bacterial Growth

Professor German explores how aging, ultraviolet light and bacteria weaken skin, cause wrinkles and increase the risk of skin rupture. Read more. 



Paul Chiarot- Department of Mechanical Engineering

Additive Manufacturing using Electrospray Printing of Nanoparticle Inks

Professor Chiarot's technique for 3D printing, called electrospray, puts tiny particles into a solvent and applies them to a surface, creating electronics in a process not unlike an inkjet printer. Read more.

Previous winners