Early Accolades

Monday, December 13, 2021

Materials assistant professors Angela Pitenis and Raphaële Clément are the latest UC Santa Barbara engineering junior faculty to receive Early CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award is regarded as the NSF’s most prestigious award for assistant professors and recognition that they are effectively integrating innovative research and education. 

In Clément’s project, which has a start date in March 2022 and is titled “High-Resolution NMR for Paramagnetic Sodium Electrodes,” she will seek to discover new classes of sodium-cathode materials for high-energy density batteries. Pitenis’s project, which has already started to receive funding from NSF, is an investigation into the dynamics of fragile interfaces with a long-term goal of creatinåg low-friction interfaces for soft biomedical devices. More detailed stories on their individual projects will be published in the coming weeks on the COE website.  

The latest awards continue the College of Engineering’s (COE’s) track record of hiring strong junior faculty who go on to receive an Early CAREER Award. Since April 2020, ten assistant professors in the College of Engineering (COE) have received NSF Early CAREER awards, including eighåt who were notified during the 2020-’21 academic year. According to UCSB’s Office of Research, 45 percent of the eligible assistant professors in the engineering and sciences at UCSB received NSF Early CAREER awards between the 2016-’17 and 2020-’21 academic years, which led to UCSB’s No. 1 ranking among all U.S. public universities. UC San Diego ranked second (43%), the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign was third (42%), followed by UC Los Angeles (41 %), and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (40%). 

An alphabetical list of the ten COE faculty who received NSF Early CAREER awards between April 2020 and December 13, 2021 follows:
Raphaële Clément, Materials 
Yufei Ding, Computer Science
Elliot Hawkes, Mechanical Engineering
Paolo Luzzatto-Fegiz, Mechanical Engineering
Galan Moody, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Angela Pitenis, Materials
Alban Sauret, Mechanical Engineering
William Wang, Computer Science
Yu-Xiang Wang, Computer Science
Yangying Zhu, Mechanical Engineering

Materials assistant professors Angela Pintenis (left) and Raphaële Clément