A Nigerian researcher and associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin, United States, Prof Deji Akinwande, has been named by President Barack Obama among recipients of this year’s highest honour bestowed by the US government for science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
Together with other 104 award recipients, Akinwande will receive the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers in Washington DC later in the year.
The White House statement on the award reads: “President Obama today named 105** researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. The winners will receive their awards at a Washington, DC ceremony this spring.
“These early-career scientists are leading the way in our efforts to confront and understand challenges from climate change to our health and wellness,” President Obama said. “We congratulate these accomplished individuals and encourage them to continue to serve as an example of the incredible promise and ingenuity of the American people.”
The man – Deji Akinwande
Dr. Deji Akinwande, according to his profile published by the University of Texas at Austin, received a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 2009, where he conducted research on the synthesis, device physics, and circuit applications of carbon nanotubes and graphene.
His Master’s research in Applied Physics at Case Western Reserve University pioneered the design and development of near-field microwave probe tips for nondestructive imaging and studies of materials.
He is currently an Associate Professor with the University of Texas at Austin. The current focus of his research explores materials and electronic systems based on 2D atomic layers. He is a co-inventor of a high-frequency chip-to-chip interconnect and an electrically small antenna for bio-electronics.
Prof. Akinwande has been honored with the inaugural IEEE Nano Geim and Novoselov Graphene Prize, the NSF CAREER award, the Army and DTRA Young Investigator awards, the 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, and was a past recipient of fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and Stanford DARE Initiative.
He is one of the directors of the NASCENT ERC center at UT Austin. He recently co-authored a textbook on carbon nanotubes and graphene device physics by Cambridge University Press, 2011. His work on flexible graphene systems was selected as among the “best of 2012” by the nanotechweb online technology news portal and has been featured on MIT’s technology review and other technical media outlets.
About the Presidential Award
The Presidential Early Career Awards highlight the key role that the Administration places in encouraging and accelerating American innovation to grow our economy and tackle our greatest challenges. This year’s recipients are employed or funded by the following departments and agencies: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, Department of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, and the Intelligence Community.
These departments and agencies join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies’ missions.
The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.