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Three faculty members win presidential award

Three faculty members have each won a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, considered to be “the highest honor given by the U.S. government to scientists and engineers in the early stages of their research careers.”

Sigrid Close, Jennifer Dionne and Sean Hartnoll were among 102 winners who will be recognized in Washington, D.C., later this year.

Close, assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics, was honored for her work on the impact of meteoroid and radio emissions on the atmosphere and spacecraft.

Dionne, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, is developing materials with artificial optical and electrical properties, using these materials to control nanoscale systems. She and her coworkers designed a broadband negative index material that manipulates light.

Hartnoll, assistant professor of physics, worked to use theoretical math to explain gravity in and around black holes. Hartnoll is applying this information to better understand what causes electrons to flow erratically through high-temperature exotic metal superconductors.

Aside from the prestigious honor, each winner will receive up to five years of federal funding to continue pursuing his or her research.

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