Four SoE Faculty Win NSF CAREER Awards, including Prof. Kay Wille and Prof.Timothy Vadas
Four Engineering faculty members have won CAREER awards, each receiving $500,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF). According to the NSF, CAREER awards are the “most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.”
“This award will shape significantly the research direction of our group and lays the foundation for fruitful collaborations across various disciplines, including mechanics, chemistry, polymer-science and liberal arts,” said Dr. Kay Wille, one of the recipients. “It feels like a dream came true, and I am so grateful to the National Science Foundation for their financial support and their trust in our research.”
Among them, there are two faculty members are within our department:
– Kay Wille, Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering: “Understanding Behavior and Properties of Nano-Sized Particles in Cement-Based Materials.”
This project will investigate the behavior and properties of nano-sized particles in cement-based materials. Nanoparticles have the potential to lead to more dense materials, and to carry over specific functionalities leading to novel material design possibilities, such as intelligent multi-functional highly durable engineered concretes. These design possibilities could go a long way toward addressing the current poor condition of the nation’s aging infrastructure, as well as prepare for future infrastructure concerns. Unlocking the full potential of nano-sized particles in cement-based systems is currently held back by the limited understanding of the mechanisms by which they disperse throughout the concrete matrix. This information is critical for understanding and improving the material’s strength and durability.
– Timothy Vadas, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering: “Impact of Urbanization on Organic Carbon-Metal Interactions and Trophic Transfer in Streams”
This project addresses the increasingly urbanized landscape and the increasing negative impact of metals from both stormwater and wastewater effluent on organisms in streams. It’s designed to develop more effective management strategies for impaired streams in urban areas.
To address the stream impairment issues associated with different metal sources, the projects aims to get a better understanding of metal bio-uptake under urban stream conditions. To do this, Vadas and his research team will analyze the presence and form of metals in different stream sources. Laboratory studies will assess the interactions of the different metal forms with benthic microbial communities into macroinvertebrate organisms.
Study Wins Young Researcher Paper Award
UConn researchers have been awarded the TRB Committee ANB20 (Safety Data Analysis and Evaluation) 2015 Young
Researcher Paper Award. Assistant Professor Karthik C. Konduri, Professor John Ivan and UConn graduate assistant Kai Wang are part of a team that authored the paper, “A Copula Based Joint Model of Injury Severity and Vehicle Damage in Two-Vehicle Crashes.” The award will be presented at the ANB20 Committee Meeting during the TRB Annual Meeting in January 2016 in Washington DC.