AFOSR awards grants to 48 scientists and engineers through its Young Investigator Research Program

We announced our 2012 Young Investigator Research Program award winners! Approximately $18 million in grants will be given to 48 scientists and engineers who submitted winning research proposals.

The YIP is open to scientists and engineers at research institutions across the United States who received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in the last five years and show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research.

The objective of this program is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering.

This year AFOSR received 220 proposals in response to the AFOSR broad agency announcement solicitation in major areas of interest to the Air Force. These areas include: aerospace, chemical and material sciences; physics and electronics; and mathematics, information and life sciences. AFOSR officials select proposals based on the evaluation criteria listed in the broad agency announcement. Those selected will receive the grants over a 3 to 5-year period.

The recipients and their anticipated research areas are:

  • Pieter Abbeel, University of California, Berkeley, Apprenticeship Learning for Robotic Control
  • Kramer Akli, The Ohio State University, Toward A Table-top Laser-driven XUV/X-ray Source
  • Rae Anderson, University of San Diego, Elucidating the molecular dynamics, conformations, and interactions occurring in complex entangled biopolymer systems via novel single-molecule techniques
  • Zeb Barber, Montana State University, Synthetic Aperture Ladar Imaging and Atmospheric Turbulence
  • Jesse Barezovsky,  Case Western Reserve University, Coupling photonics and coherent spintronics for low-loss flexible optical logic
  • Riccardo Bevilacqua, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Propellant-free Spacecraft Relative Maneuvering via Atmospheric Differential Drag
  • Bryan Boudoris, Purdue University, Molecular Design and Device Application of Radical Polymers for Improved Charge Extraction in Organic Photovoltaic Cells
  • Paola Cappellaro, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Modular Paradigm for Scalable Quantum Information
  • James Caverlee, Texas A&M/Texas Engineering Experiment Station, Detecting, Analyzing, Modeling, and Predicting Strategic Manipulation and Adversarial Propaganda in Social Media
  • Zhilei Chen, Texas A&M/Texas Engineering Experiment Station, A self-assembling protein hydrogel technology for enzyme incorporation onto electrodes in biofuel cells
  • Stephen Chong, Harvard University, Integrating Programming Language and Operating System Information Security Mechanisms
  • Michael Clarkson, The George Washington University, Making Cybersecurity Quantifiable
  • Tanja Cuk, The University of California, Berkeley, In-Situ UV-VIS and IR Spectroscopy of Water Oxidation on Transition Metal Oxide Catalysts
  • Samantha Daly, University of Michigan, New Approach Towards Characterizing Microstructural Influence on Material Behavior Under Very High Cycle Fatigue
  • Kaushik Dayal, Carnegie Mellon University, A Multiscale Approach for Complex Functional Materials and Nanostructure

A Week in Review: 1/8/12 to 1/14/12

A quick recap of AFRL and AFOSR news mentions over the past week.

January 9th
University of Arizona micro-aircraft is inspired by nature
In the back corner of an engineering building at the University of Arizona, Professor Sergey Shkarayev and his students study the mechanics of flight. At 9 p.m. on a Thursday, students are still gathered there, surrounded by circuit boards, batteries, disembodied wings. The lab even looks like a small airplane hangar — vast but windowless. This lab has earned a national reputation for constructing and flying remote control planes.

January 10th
Rheinmetall and Joint IED Defeat Organisation join Boeing, DARPA, the Office of Naval Research and the US Air Force for Directed Energy Systems 2012
The Directed Energy Systems conference will explore how High Power Microwaves (HPM) and High Energy Lasers (HEL) can be developed to become the next major development of military capability and the multitude of applications which these provide to the battlefield.

January 11th
Knighthoods for Nobel-winning graphene pioneers
Two Nobel laureates funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, involved in the creation and isolation of graphene, a sheet of carbon just 1 atom thick, have received British knighthoods from the Queen of England.

AFOSR awards grants to 48 scientists and engineers through its Young Investigator Research Program
The Air Force Office of Scientific Research announced it will award approximately $18 million in grants to 48 scientists and engineers who submitted winning research proposals through the Air Force’s Young Investigator Research Program.

January 13th
Magnetic actuation enables nanoscale thermal analysis: Heated nanoprobes Perform thermo-mechanical measurements using magnetic actuation

Polymer nano-films and nano-composites are used in a wide variety of applications from food packaging to sports equipment to automotive and aerospace applications. Thermal analysis is routinely used to analyze materials for these applications, but the growing trend to use nanostructured materials has made bulk techniques insufficient.

Nanoantennas Could Improve Optics, Telecom Applications
Arrays of tiny plasmonic “nanoantennas” that can precisely manipulate light could benefit optical and telecom system designers by helping create new types of powerful microscopes, lasers and computers.