Public Release: 

AFOSR awards grants to 57 scientists and engineers through its Young Investigator Program

Air Force Office of Scientific Research

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research today announced that it will award approximately $16.6 million in grants to 57 scientists and engineers from 43 research institutions and small businesses who submitted winning research proposals through the Air Force's Young Investigator Research Program (YIP).

The YIP is open to scientists and engineers at research institutions across the United States who received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in the last five years and who show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research.

The objective of this program is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering.

This year AFOSR received over 200 proposals in response to the AFOSR broad agency announcement solicitation in major areas of interest to the Air Force. These areas include: Dynamical Systems and Control, Quantum and Non-Equilibrium Processes, Information, Decision and Complex Networks, Complex Materials and Devices, and Energy, Power and Propulsion. AFOSR officials select proposals based on the evaluation criteria listed in the broad agency announcement. Those selected will receive the grants over a 3 year period.

The recipients and their anticipated research areas are:

  • Dr. Animashree Anandkumar, University of California at Irvine, Learning Mixed Membership Community Models: A statistical and a Computational Framework

  • Dr. Phillip Ansell, University of Illinois - Champaign, The Onset of Dynamic Stall: Understanding Flowfield Unsteadiness to Enable Closed-Loop Control

  • Dr. Gaurav Bahl, University of Illinois - Champaign, Chip-Scale Linear Non-Reciprocal Optomechanical Systems

  • Dr. Lawrence Baker, The Ohio State University, Understanding the Mechanism of Catalytic Selectivity During Electrochemical CO2 Reduction Using Nonlinear Soft X-Ray Spectroscopy

  • Dr. Christopher Batten, Cornell University, Exploiting Amorphous Data Parallelism Through Software and Architecture Co-Design

  • Dr. Cosmin Blaga, The Ohio State University, Studies of Complex Systems in Intense, Ultrafast Mid-Infrared Laser Fields

  • Dr. Mark Blenner, Clemson University, Engineering Robust Enzyme Activity Through Fundamental Studies of Extremophile Enzymes

  • Dr. Yuejie Chi, The Ohio State University, Low-Complexity Inference Strategies for Large-Scale Data Streams

  • Dr. Shinung Ching, Washington University at St. Louis, Systems-Theoretic Analysis and Optimization of Biophysical Neuronal Networks

  • Dr. Girish Chowdhary, Oklahoma State University, Robust Adaptive Autonomy in Contested Environments

  • Dr. Srabanti Chowdhury, Arizona State University, Terahertz transistors based on hot electron transport in III-Nitrides and Zinc Oxide

  • Dr. John Christian, University of West Virginia, Estimation of Shape and Relative Motion for Partially Resolved Objects in Optically Acquired Imagery

  • Dr. Andrew Croll, North Dakota State University, Crumpled and Prescriptively Folded Polymer Films for Advanced Lightweight Materials

  • Dr. Paul Cuff, Princeton University, Performance-based Security for Encoding of Information Signals

  • Dr. Hyungrok Do, University of Notre Dame, Limits of Reactive Turbulent Flow Dynamics in Novel Next Generation

  • Dr. Dmitriy Drusvyatskiy, University of Washington, Exploiting Geometry and Degeneracy in Large Scale Structured Optimization

  • Dr. Jonathan Fan, Stanford University, Neuromorphic Infrared Nano-Optical Systems

  • Dr. Andrei Faraon, California Institute of Technology, On-chip Quantum Memories at Telecom Wavelengths Based on Er3+:YSO Nano-Photonic Resonators

  • Dr. Matthias Fuchs, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Next-Generation X-Ray Lightsource and First Applications

  • Dr. Qing Hao, University of Arizona, Transport Property Studies of Structurally Modified Graphene

  • Dr. Jason Hicken, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Optimization of Complex Systems using Imperfect Data from Large-scale Simulations

  • Dr. Christopher Holbrook, University of California at Los Angeles, Group Bias and the Attribution of Mental Properties to Allies, Antagonists, and Automata

  • Dr. Shu-Wei Huang, University of California at Los Angeles, Sub-cycle Optical Pulse Synthesis and Stabilization in Next-Generation Optical Frequency Combs

  • Dr. Justin Jawarski, Lehigh University, Evolution and Stability of Vortical Gusts Impinging Upon Elastic Wings

  • Dr. Brendan Juba, Washington University at St. Louis, Algorithms for Identifying and Learning Under Conditional Distributions

  • Dr. Tim Kraska, Brown University, Redefining Analytics for Small High-Performance Computing Clusters

  • Dr. Joseph Kuehl, Baylor University, The influence of multiple interacting primary modes and mode representation on hypersonic boundary-layer stability and transition prediction

  • Dr. Mrinal Kumar, University of Florida, A Unified Dynamic Information Guided Particle Framework

  • Dr. Wen Li, University of California at Los Angeles, Quantifying the physical processes affecting highly-relativistic electron dynamics in the Earth's radiation belts and their relation to solar wind conditions

  • Dr. Nanshu Lu, University of Texas at Austin, Super-Expandable Adaptive Sensor Network Enabled by Piezoelectric Polymer Serpentines

  • Dr. Maiken Mikkelsen, Duke University, Tailoring Radiative Processes By Nanoengineering For Ultrafast Optoelectronic Devices

  • Dr. Arka Majumdar, University of Washington, Hybrid Silicon/Silica Photonics Platform for Low-Power Digital Optoelectronic Switching and Logic Devices

  • Captain Dustin Mixon, Air Force Institute of Technology, Sampling Theory for Modern Inverse Problems

  • Dr. Akil Narayan, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, Optimal and unstructured high-order non-intrusive approximations for uncertain parameterized simulations

  • Dr. Kelly Nash, The University of Texas at San Antonio, Nanotransducers as Remote Photoactivators to aid in Functional Cell Imaging and Photobiomodulation Applications

  • Dr. Kang-Kuen Ni, Harvard University, Ultracold Molecular Assembly and Quantum Chemistry

  • Dr. Jacqueline O'Connor, Pennsylvania State University, Structure and Dynamics of Highly Turbulent, Interacting Flames

  • Dr. Alex Olshevsky, University of Illinois-Champaign, Reliable Multi-Agent Control in Failure-Prone Environments via Inhomogeneous Markov Chains

  • Dr. Marco Panesi, University of Illinois-Champaign, A reduced-order modeling approach to enable kinetic simulations of non-equilibrium hypersonic flows

  • Dr. Robert Pilawa, University of Illinois-Champaign, Series-Stacked Computer Architectures - Leveraging Multi-Core Systems for Extreme Miniaturization of Mobile Computing Platforms

  • Dr. Pavana Prabhakar, University of Texas at El Paso, A Novel Multiscale Design of Interfaces for Polymeric Composites and Bonded Joints using Additive Manufacturing

  • Dr. Katharine Prigge, Monell Institute, Sensing and Detecting VOC's in Sweat and Cerumen

  • Dr. Padmini Rangamani, University of California at San Diego, Nanopore formation in lipid bilayers: insights from electro-mechano-chemical modeling

  • Dr. Fabio Semperlotti, University of Notre Dame, Multi-Resolution Non Local Metastructures for the Passive Control of Broadband Non-Stationary Dynamics in Thin-Walled Structures

  • Dr. Paulo Shakarian, Arizona State University, Toward Anti-Inhibitory Influence of Online Social Networks

  • Dr. Robert Shepherd, Cornell University, Co-Continuous Metal-Elastomer Foam Actuators for Morphing Wing MAVs

  • Dr. Hjalti Sigmarsson, University of Oklahoma, Reconfigurable, High-Frequency Circuit Components using Phase Change Materials

  • Dr. Ashley Spear, University of Utah, 3-D Multi-Scale Modeling Combined with Machine Learning for a Novel Structural-Prognosis Framework

  • Dr. Yogesh Surendranath, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Molecular Tuning of Interfacial Electrocatalysis

  • Dr. Pablo Tarazaga, Virginia Tech, Adaptive Structural Vibrations for Multifaceted Motivity

  • Dr. Bozhi Tian, University of Chicago, Understanding the Bioelectric Aspects of Cytoskeletal Dynamics

  • Dr. Andreas Velten, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Super Resolution Remote Imaging using Time Encoded Remote Apertures

  • Dr. Stephen Webb, RadiaSoft LLC, High average power electron beams from a novel compact plasma wakefield accelerator

  • Dr. Aaron Welters, Florida Institute of Technology, On a Theory of Broadband Absorption Suppression in Magnetic Composites

  • Dr. Christopher Weinberger, Drexel University, Understanding the stability and microstructure of the zeta phase in transition metal carbides and nitrides

  • Dr. Shannon Yee, Georgia Institute of Technology, Tunable Multifunctional Organic Thermal and Thermoelectric Materials

  • Dr. Fuzhong Zhang, Washington University at St. Louis, A Bacterial Factory for the Manufacturing of High-Strength Materials


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