The University of Chicago's Jacob bean has received a 2014 Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering. Bean is one of 18 early-career scientists and engineers nationwide to receive the fellowship from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
Bean, an assistant professor in astronomy & astrophysics, will receive $875,000 over five years to support his research. By studying the atmospheres of planets beyond Earth's solar system, also known as "exoplanets," Bean aims to gain a deeper understanding of planetary formation, chemistry, and ultimately, habitability. Using ground and space-based telescopes, Bean is interested in detecting and characterizing these worlds and eventually identifying other Earth-like planets.
The Packard Foundation established the fellowships program in 1988 to provide early-career scientists with flexible funding and the freedom to take risks and explore new frontiers in their fields. Each year, the foundation invites 50 universities to nominate two faculty members for consideration. The Packard Foundation Fellowships Advisory Panel, a group of 12 internationally recognized scientists and engineers, evaluates the nominations and recommends fellows for approval by the Packard Foundation Board of Trustees.
The fellowship program was inspired by David Packard's commitment to strengthen university-based science and engineering programs in the United States, recognizing that the success of the Hewlett-Packard Company, which he co-founded, was largely derived from research and development in university laboratories.