2021 Celebration of Faculty Excellence

2021 Celebration of Faculty Excellence Biographies

Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence

Robert Kelly

Bob KellyDr. Kelly, the Alcoa Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from NC State University. Kelly is a 2021 recipient of the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence in recognition of his outstanding research contributions to the biology and biotechnology of extremophilic microorganisms, and for his twenty years directing the NC State Biotechnology (BIT) Program. He was previously awarded the College of Engineering’s R.J. Reynolds Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Extension. Among other research honors, he has been awarded the American Chemical Society Marvin J. Johnson Award for Biochemical Technology, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Division Award in Chemical Engineering, the American Society for Microbiology DuPont Biosciences Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, the International Society for Extremophiles Lifetime Achievement Award and is a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science. Kelly currently serves as Editor of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Robin Moore

College of Design's Robin Moore and Nilda Cosco in a treehouseDr. Moore, professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, holds a degree in architecture from the Bartlett School at University College, London and a masters of city and regional planning (MCP) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Moore is a 2021 recipient of the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence. He is known for his five decades of pioneering research on children’s play and learning environments–particularly in urban environments and low-resource communities throughout North America and beyond. Moore’s transdisciplinary research, at the intersection of human development and urbanization, supports evidence-based, health-promoting biophilic design for children and families; his research is implemented via nature-based solutions that prioritize global health, sustainability, and children’s rights. In 2000, he co-founded the Natural Learning Initiative to leverage nature-based design knowledge to impact professional development and policy. In addition to the Holladay Medal, Moore is the recipient of the Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology (2018), the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management Lifetime Achievement Award (2016), a Patrick Geddes Fellow at the University of Edinburgh (2015), an Honorary Member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (2012), NC State Outstanding Extension Service Award (2003), the Environmental Design Research Association Places Research Award for the “Growing Up in Cities” international team (2002), American Horticultural Society Great American Gardeners Landscape Design Award (2001), the College of Design Faculty Research Award (1998), NC Governor’s Community Service Award (1992) and the National Endowment for the Arts Exemplary Achievement in Environmental Design Research Award (1983).

UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching

Hasan Jameel

CNR's Hasan Jameel and a lump of woody material pretreated to create fuel.Dr. Jameel, the Jordan Family Distinguished Professor in the Department of Forest Biomaterials, earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Princeton University. The 2021 Board of Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching recipient, Jameel combines effective teaching techniques with (1) an unusual and longstanding level of passion and enthusiasm, (2) a demonstrated record of mentoring, (3) the highest levels of personalized attention and dedication to his students, and (4) real-world problem solving based on his extensive industrial experience. Throughout his career, he has developed a strong research and academic program in the conversion of biomass to bioenergy and bioproducts. Jameel was named NC State Outstanding Teacher in 1990 and 2005, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor in 1999, Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor in 2006, Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor and the Jordan Family Distinguished Professor in 2016.

American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow

Ruben Carbonell

Ruben CarbonellDr. Carbonell, the Frank Hawkins Kenan Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Princeton University. His research focuses on transport phenomena, interfacial sciences, and bio-molecular recognition processes that can be applied to the development of novel approaches for improved manufacturing of next-generation biopharmaceuticals. Carbonell was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his distinguished contributions to the field of chemical and biomolecular engineering, particularly in the areas of multiphase reactor design, high-pressure thin-film coatings, and novel bioseparation processes. In addition, he is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, Fellow of National Academy of Inventors, Fellow of American Chemical Society, Fellow of American Institute of Chemical Engineers and is a Foreign Member of the Slovenian National Academy of Sciences and Arts. He has received multiple recognitions from NC State including the O. Max Gardner Award, the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence, College of Engineering’s R. J. Reynolds Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Extension, the Alcoa Foundation Engineering Research Achievement Award and was named Alumni Graduate Research Professor.

Phil Castellano

Students work in the chemistry lab of Felix (Phil) CastellanoDr. Castellano, the Goodnight Innovation Distinguished Chair and professor in the Department of Chemistry, earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Johns Hopkins University. He was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his distinguished contributions to the fields of solar energy conversion, photochemistry, and photophysics, particularly for developing photochemical upconversion and strategies for manipulating excited state behavior. Castellano’s current research focuses on metal-organic chromophore photophysics and energy transfer, photochemical upconversion phenomena, solar fuels photocatalysis, energy transduction at semiconductor/molecular interfaces, photoredox catalysis, fuel-forming chemical reactions, ultrafast transient bond-making and bond-breaking processes. Castellano was named Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) in 2015 and received the Interamerican Photochemical Society (I-APS) Award in Photochemistry in 2019. He is the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of Chemical Physics Reviews, a peer-reviewed journal from the American Institute of Physics. 

Peter Fedkiw 

Peter FedkiwDr. Fedkiw is Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, where he served as department head for 13 years. Fedkiw earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his distinguished contributions to electrochemical engineering, including electrochemical-based mass transfer separation processes, optimal control of electrochemical reactors and composite electrolytes for rechargeable lithium batteries. Fedkiw is a Fellow of The Electrochemical Society, one of his many professional honors. 

Lewis Owen 

Lewis OwenDr. Owen is professor and head of the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences. Owen earned his Ph.D. in geography and geology from the University of Leicester, UK. He was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his distinguished contributions to the field of Quaternary paleoenvironmental change and landscape evolution in tectonically active regions. Among his awards and honors, he received the Busk Medal of the Royal Geographical Society and the President’s Award from the Geological Society of London. He is also a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, the Royal Geographic Society, and the Geological Society of London.

Jean Ristaino

Jean RistainoDr. Ristaino, the William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, earned her Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of California, Davis. She was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) for her distinguished contributions to the science of plant pathology, particularly the population biology of historic plant disease outbreaks. Ristaino’s groundbreaking research has completely changed our understanding of the population biology and genetics of one of the most important plant disease epidemics in modern history, late blight caused by Phytophthora infestans. Ristaino’s lab was the first to use historic global 19th century late blight samples to study the spread and genetics of the pathogen. Her seminal work on tracking historic outbreaks has changed our understanding of the disease. Ristaino was also elected Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society Fellow in 2020. Her additional awards and honors include a Jefferson Science Fellowship, a Fulbright Research Fellowship to the University of Catania in 2018 and NC State’s Global Engagement Award in 2019. Ristaino served as director of the Emerging Plant Disease and Global Food Security Cluster in 2015; since 2013 she has served as a consultant for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She regularly contributes news articles on plant health for CNN Global Challenges, The Washington Post, Smithsonian, NPR, BBC, and National Geographic.

Munindar Singh 

Munindar SinghDr. Singh, the Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor in the Department of Computer Science, earned his Ph.D. in computer sciences from the University of Texas at Austin. He was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his distinguished contributions to the field of computer science, particularly to foundations of multiagent systems and their applications in service-oriented computing, sociotechnical systems and governance. Singh conducts research on artificial intelligence (AI) and sociotechnical systems. His expertise centers on decentralized multiagent systems applied in cybersecurity, social computing and business processes. His current research focuses on the ethics and safety of AI. Singh is a Fellow of both the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He has won the Association of Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligience’s Autonomous Agents Research Award, the IEEE TCSVC Research Innovation Award, and the International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (IFAAMAS) Influential Paper Award. He won NC State’s Outstanding Research Achievement Award twice and the Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award; he serves on the Research Leadership Academy at NC State. Singh is the inventor of 45 US patents. His diverse research sponsors include ARL, ARO, Cisco, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, DARPA, the DoD, Ericsson, Facebook, IBM, Intel, NSF, and Xerox.

Brian Space 

Brian SpaceDr. Space, professor in the Department of Chemistry, earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Boston University and served as a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University. Space was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his distinguished contributions in theoretical chemistry including insights into interfaces and porous materials, particularly developing theories of nonlinear spectroscopy and force fields in complex systems. The Space Group is a theoretical chemistry group concerned primarily with computer simulation of condensed phase phenomena. The lab’s focus is on molecular simulations of environmentally important metal–organic materials. Space is also a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award recipient and a Visiting Professor at Nankai University in the Department of Chemistry.

Paul Turinsky

Dr. Turinsky speaks with Nuclear Engineering studentsDr. Turinsky, professor emeritus in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, earned his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan and his MBA from the Executive MBA Program at the University of Pittsburgh. His areas of research include nuclear fuel management and cycle optimization; methods development and applications in areas of model calibration, uncertainty quantification and optimum experimental design; and, methods development supporting adaptive model refinement. Turinsky was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in recognition of his scholarly impact, applications of his research to industry and government agencies, service to professional societies, and for the education of future generations of nuclear engineers. Throughout his career, Turinsky has received the following honors and recognitions: Fellow of the American Nuclear Society in 1987, American Society for Engineering Education Glenn Murphy Award in 1990, Edison Electric Institute Power Engineering Educator Award in 1992, the Alcoa Foundation Engineering Research Achievement Award in 1993, E.O. Lawrence Award in Nuclear Technology from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2002; American Nuclear Society’s Eugene P. Wigner Award and Arthur Holly Compton Award in 2003 and 2004 (respectively), as well as the College of Engineering’s R. J. Reynolds Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Extension in 2008. Turinsky was elected Member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2017.

Department of Energy, Early Career Research Award

Veronica Augustyn 

Veronica AugustynDr. Augustyn, assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, earned her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from UCLA. She conducts research on the electrochemistry of materials for energy-relevant processes. Augustyn is the 2020 recipient of the Department of Energy’s Early Career Research Award, which will support her investigation of electrochemical reactivity under confinement by layered materials. This research will further our understanding of the kinetics and thermodynamics of complex electrochemical reactions that are relevant for energy processes. Augustyn’s research has previously been supported by an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Chemistry (2019) and a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award (2017). 

Dali Sun 

Dali SunDr. Sun, assistant professor in the Department of Physics, earned his Ph.D, in condensed matter physics from the Institute of Physics at the Chinese Academy of Science in Beijing, China. Sun’s research interests are in spintronics and optoelectronics of organic semiconductors, magnetic thin films and organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites. The Sun Research Group explores novel routes for spin injection and detection, magnetic field effect, spin Hall effect and their applications in molecules, polymers and newly emergent low-dimensional materials. Sun is the 2020 recipient of the Department of Energy’s Early Career Research Award. His project, “Elucidating Chirality-Induced Magnetism and Magnetoelectric Functionalities in Layered Chiral Hybrid Metal Halide Perovskites”, will illuminate the fundamental origins of chirality-induced magnetism via the CISS effect and their electrical tunability in 2D layered Hybrid Metal Halides material systems. He and his research group will specifically focus on developing two ultrasensitive detection themes based on spin-orbitronics and magneto-optics to probe the CISS-induced magnetism and magnetoelectric functionalities in this hybrid material. 

Jefferson Science Fellow

Warren Jasper

Warren JasperDr. Jasper, professor in the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science, earned his Ph.D. in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University. His research interests include real-time measurement and control of textile processes, electro-static filtration (electrets), cold plasma textile filters, wireless power transfer and embedded systems. Jasper was selected as a 2020-21 Jefferson Science Fellow (JSF). The JSF program engages the American academic science, technology, engineering and medical communities in U.S. foreign policy and international development at the Department of State and USAID. Prior to being named a JSF, Jasper received NC State’s Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology in 2010 and was inducted into NC State’s Academy of Outstanding Faculty in Extension and Engagement in 2019. He was named a Fulbright U.S. Scholar in 2014, and again in 2019.

National Academy of Engineering

Louis Martin-Vega

Dean Louis Martin-VegaDr. Martin-Vega, dean of the College of Engineering, earned his Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Florida. Martin-Vega was elected Member of the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of his sustained support of engineering and engineering education through industry-academic collaborations for underrepresented groups. He is one of 106 new members and 23 international members elected to the 2021 class. Martin-Vega’s research focuses on manufacturing systems, scheduling and logistics, and engineering education. Prior to joining NC State in 2006, Martin-Vega served as dean of engineering at the University of South Florida. Under his leadership, NC State’s College of Engineering has grown to more than 10,500 students, 750 faculty and staff members, and more than $200 million in annual research expenditures. Martin-Vega’s past awards and appointments, include the Institute of Industrial and System Engineers Gilbreth Award, Distinguished Education Award, and Fellow; The Museum of Science and Industry’s National Hispanic Scientist of the Year Award and the HENACC Hall of Fame; Fellow of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and American Association for the Advancement of Science; and serving as President of American Society for Engineering Education, as well as Acting AD of the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Directorate.

National Academy of Engineering Simon Ramo Founders Award

Frances Ligler

Fran LiglerDr. Ligler, Ross Lampe Distinguished Professor in the UNC/NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, earned both her D.Phil. in biochemistry and her D.Sc. from Oxford University. Ligler is the 2020 recipient of the National Academy of Engineering’s Simon Ramo Founders Award. Ligler received this high honor in recognition of her “invention and development of portable optical biosensors, service to the nation and profession, and educating the next, more diverse generation of engineers.” Prior to joining NC State, Ligler worked at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, where she served as U.S. Navy senior scientist for biosensors and biomaterials. Ligler has more than 400 publications, including 35 U.S. patents and four books. Her inventions have been directly commercialized in 11 biosensor products used in food production plants, clinics in developing countries, pollution cleanup sites and areas of concern for military and homeland security. Ligler is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the SPIE, and the National Academy of Inventors. She was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2017. 

National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Behnam Pourdeyhimi

Behnam PourdeyhimiDr. Pourdeyhimi, the Klopman Distinguished Professor in the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science, earned his Ph.D. in textiles from the University of Leeds. He is a nationally recognized authority in the field of engineered fabrics and is the founding director of NC State’s Nonwovens Institute. Pourdeyhimi has been elected to the National Academy of Inventors in recognition of his innovations in nonwovens that include medical, hygiene, and filtration, as well as for his work’s notable impact on social welfare. Pourdeyhimi holds 24 U.S. patents and 29 foreign patents that have been licensed to 39 companies. He is the founder or co-founder of 6 startup companies. He has published 342 refereed publications, authored or co-authored 3 books as well as 18 book chapters, and serves on the editorial board of several peer-reviewed journals. Pourdeyhimi is also the recipient of the INDA Lifetime Achievement Award (Association of Nonwoven Fabrics Industry); the TAPPI Leadership Award and Hollingsworth Prize (Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry); both the Innovation Award and Centenary Innovation Award of The Textile Institute (UK); the O. Max Gardner Award for his contributions in the field of filtration; and Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence. Pourdeyhimi is a Fellow of The Textile Institute and The Fiber Society. 

Thomas Ranney

Thomas RanneyDr. Ranney, the JC Raulston Distinguished Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science, earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in horticultural science from Cornell University. Ranney has been elected to the National Academy of Inventors for his creative and impactful work in developing new cultivars with greater adaptability, pest resistance, non-invasiveness and uniqueness. Ranney and his team hold 47 patents on diverse plants that are sold globally and have generated over $100 million in retail sales. Recognized as an innovator in horticultural science, he has received numerous accolades including seven awards from the American Society of Horticultural Science alone, these range from Distinguished Achievement in Plant Breeding to Outstanding Graduate Educator. Ranney is also the recipient of the H. Marc Cathey Award and Luther Burbank Award from the American Horticultural Society, the Porter Henegar Memorial Award from the Southern Nursery Association, Fellow of the International Plant Propagators Society, Outstanding Contributions to the Horticultural Industry Award from the NC Nursery and Landscape Association, and The Scott Medal and Award from the Scott Arboretum.

National Academy of Inventors Senior Member

Paul Dayton

Paul DaytonDr. Dayton is the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor and interim department head of the UNC/NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. Dayton received his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from The University of Virginia. His research interests include biomedical ultrasound imaging, ultrasound mediated targeted therapies and industrial ultrasound applications. Dayton was elected Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The National Academy of Inventors named 63 of the world’s best emerging academic inventors to its 2021 class of Senior Members. Dayton’s research involves developing new technologies for imaging blood flow, microvasculature, and molecular markers using ultrasound and microbubble contrast agents. His recent contributions to the field include techniques to improve the sensitivity and consistency of ultrasound imaging through optimization of contrast agent size distribution, the demonstration of high-resolution, high- SNR ultra broadband imaging and techniques for real-time molecular imaging. Dayton has served on the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine Technical Standards Committee since 2016 and is the 2016 recipient of the SPIE Pioneer Award in Biomedical Wellness.  

Donald Freytes

Donald FreytesDr. Freytes, assistant professor in the UNC/NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, earned his Ph.D. in bioengineering from University at Pittsburgh and completed his postdoctoral training at Columbia University. Freytes is among this year’s accomplished academic inventors named Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Senior Members have demonstrated remarkable innovation and produced technologies that have the potential for a significant impact on the welfare of society. Freytes’ laboratory, the Redesign Lab, focuses on the design and testing of bioengineered tissues mainly composed of pluripotent stem cell derived repair cells and tissue specific extracellular matrix scaffolds. The lab’s goal is to develop new strategies to assemble and test bioengineered constructs capable of restoring tissue function. 

Ismail Guvenc 

Ismail GuvencDr. Guvenc, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of South Florida (USF). Guvenc’s research interests include 5G/6G wireless systems, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) communications, millimeter wave communications, heterogeneous wireless networks, visible light communications and wireless testbeds. Guvenc has 7 years of experience in the telecom industry working for DOCOMO Innovations and Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, and 9 years of experience at Florida International University (FIU) and NC State. His work has resulted in over 30 US patents, 4 books, 100 journal papers and 180 conference papers. In 2020, he was elected Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors and Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2021. His awards and honors include University Faculty Scholar (2021), Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s R. Ray Bennett Faculty Fellow Award (2019), FlU College of Engineering Faculty Research Award (2016), National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award (2015), Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award (2014) and USF’s Graduate School Outstanding Dissertation Award (2006). 

Roger Narayan 

Roger NarayanDr. Narayan, professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, earned his Ph.D. in materials science & engineering from NC State University. Narayan was elected Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) in 2020 for his “success in patents, licensing, and commercialization” and for producing “technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare of society.” Narayan is the author of over two hundred publications as well as several book chapters on the processing of biomedical materials. He has served as editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Biomedical Engineering and associate editor of Applied Physics Reviews. Narayan is the recipient of: the Alcoa Foundation Engineering Research Achievement Award, UNC School of Medicine’s Jefferson-Pilot Fellowship in Academic Medicine, the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award, the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, American Ceramic Society Richard M. Fulrath Award, as well as Fellow of AAAS, ASM International, AIMBE and American Ceramic Society

National Humanities Center Fellow

Ryan Emanuel

Ryan EmanuelDr. Emanuel, professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, earned his Ph.D. in environmental sciences from University of Virginia. Emanuel’s research interests include ecohydrology, watershed hydrology, watershed biogeochemistry, secondary ecosystem succession, land-atmosphere interaction and coastal science. With the support of a National Humanities Center Fellowship in 2020-21, Emmanuel is working on his project Water in the Lumbee World: Environmental Justice, Indigenous Rights, and the Transformation of Home. Emanuel’s project merges western scholarship in environmental science, public policy and history with Indigenous knowledges to tell the stories of water in the Lumbee world. Emanuel is a University Faculty Scholar and Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor. He has received awards and support for his work from the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, the United Tribes of North Carolina, and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. He serves on the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs’ environmental justice committee, and he previously served on North Carolina’s statewide advisory council on Indigenous education.

National Inventors Hall of Fame

Sylvia Blankenship

Sylvia BlankenshipDr. Blankenship, the Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Horticultural Science Emerita, earned her Ph.D. in horticultural science from Oregon State University. Blankenship is a 2021 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee for her university patent of 1-methylcyclopropene as a tool to control the plant hormone, ethylene, as well as for the subsequent development of the commercial product SmartFresh and the company AgroFresh. The compound 1-methylcyclopropene (or 1-MCP) makes fruits and flowers last longer. The products developed from this patent are used worldwide and have had a dramatic change on the produce industry. For example, SmartFresh™ launched in 2020 is used with 70 percent or more of all apples harvested in the United States, plus 30 other crops, including kiwis, pears, plums and many floriculture crops. Blankenship’s patent is one of the most successful and lucrative in NC State’s history. Blankenship is Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the International Society for Horticultural Science, and the American Society of Horticultural Science.

National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award

Aydin Aysu

Aydin AysuDr. Aysu, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, earned his Ph.D. in computer engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and served as a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Computer Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Aysu’s interests are broadly in hardware security research and cybersecurity education. His recent work explores trusted hardware design for quantum-secure encryption solutions, security and privacy challenges of artificial intelligence systems and supply-chain security of integrated circuits. The recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Award, NSF will support Aysu’s research on cybersecurity for next-generation artificial intelligence hardware designs. Aysu is the 2020 R. Ray Bennett Faculty Fellow; this fellowship supports one high-achieving young faculty member from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is also the recipient of the 2020 DATE Conference Best Paper Award, 2019 NSF Research Initiation Initiative (CRII) award, 2019 GLS-VLSI Best Paper Award and 2018 and 2019 HOST Best Paper nominee. 

Doug Call 

Douglas CallDr. Call, associate professor in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, earned his Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Pennsylvania State University. Call’s research focuses on environmental engineering, biological and electrochemical treatment processes and resource recovery from waste. Call is the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Early Career Award for his project, “Leveraging the multifunctional redox properties of pyrogenic materials to enable biological transformations of aqueous organic contaminants.”  The goal of this project is to understand and develop a hybrid microbial-material technology that degrades organic contaminants found in water sources, including drinking water. In 2019, Call received the Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology and the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Veljko Dubljevic

Veljko DubljevicDr. Dubljevic, assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Stuttgart and his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Belgrade. He completed his postdoctoral training in neuroethics from McGill University. The recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Award, the NSF will support Dubljevic’s project “Virtual Reality Simulations of Moral Decision Making for Autonomous Vehicles.” This project explores the ethical programming of autonomous vehicles, and looks specifically at the Agent-Deed-Consequence (“ADC”) model of human moral intuitions as an effective basis for such programming. The ADC model revolutionizes the development of ethical artificial intelligence technologies with the help of virtual reality and simulations. It explains moral judgments with intuitive sub-evaluations: a situation in which someone committed a deed that is negative (e.g., lying) would be mitigated if the agent had good intentions and the consequences were good (e.g., [A+], [D-] & [C+] = [MJ+]). This model was developed by Dubljevic in collaboration with his colleagues at the Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) and the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University. In 2021, Dubljevic received the Outstanding Junior Faculty in Humanities Award from NC State. He is the associate editor of American Journal of Bioethics- Neuroscience and co-editor for the book series Advances in Neuroethics. His publications and edited collections include Living with Dementia: Neuroethical Issues and International Perspectives, Neuroethics, Justice and Autonomy: Public Reason in the Cognitive Enhancement Debate, and Cognitive Enhancement: Ethical and Policy Implications in International Perspectives.

Lilian Hsiao 

Lilian HsiaoDr. Hsiao, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, earned her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. Hsiao is the co-founder of X-MED Hydrogels. Dr. Hsiao’s research interests are in the areas of soft materials and complex fluids – specifically on the use of shaped colloids and functionalized polymer surfaces. In recognition of her work in suspension rheology, soft tribology, and multifunctional colloids, Hsiao has received the National Science Foundation’s Early Career Award. Her project, “Elastohydrodynamic lubrication of soft patterned interfaces” provides foundational understanding for the technological push towards haptic devices, especially in a world that is rapidly moving online. It leverages fluid dynamics to address questions in the emerging field of touch engineering. In 2019, the American Association for the Advancement of Science awarded Hsiao a Marion Milligan Mason Award for Women in the Chemical Sciences. This prestigious award is given to researchers who “have made extraordinary contributions through their research programs and demonstrate a commitment to move their fields forward.”

Christopher Parnin

Christopher ParninDr. Parnin, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, earned his Ph.D. in computer science from Georgia Institute of Technology. Parnin’s research spans the study of software engineering from empirical, human-computer interaction and cognitive neuroscience perspectives. He has published over 75 papers, receiving three SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Awards. His research has also been featured in hundreds of international news articles, magazines, and is frequently discussed on industry forums. Parnin has worked in Human Interactions in Programming groups at Microsoft Research, performed field studies with ABB Research, and has over a decade of professional programming experience in the defense industry. Since joining NC State, he has been awarded over $2.5 million in research grants, including a Google Faculty Award and, most recently, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Award. The NSF will support Parnin’s work on better understanding programmer cognition. Cognition is central to any programming task—from understanding and reading source code, selecting programming abstractions and algorithms, and problem-solving to debugging implementations. His project’s goal is to understand programmer cognition through brain-imaging techniques and low-cost, widely available, high-fidelity biometric sensors. The anticipated result is the design of tools that more effectively support programmers in working with complex code and acquiring expertise.