Waks Receives Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and EngineersDr. Edo Waks, assistant professor at the University of Maryland's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics (IREAP), has been awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent careers. Waks, who was nominated by the National Science Foundation (NSF), was one of 85 PECASE award recipients announced on Friday, November 5.
Prof. Waks was recognized for advancing the frontiers of knowledge in coherent interactions between photons and quantum dots using photonic crystals, and for engaging in education and outreach activities, including in local schools in Maryland.
Ten federal agencies join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions.
The PECASE awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach. Winning scientists and engineers have received research grants for up to five years to further their studies in support of critical government missions.
"Science and technology have long been at the core of America’s economic strength and global leadership," said President Barack Obama. "I am confident that these individuals, who have shown such tremendous promise so early in their careers, will go on to make breakthroughs and discoveries that will continue to move our nation forward in the years ahead.”
Prof. Waks previously received the prestigious NSF CAREER Award and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award. His research interests include studying the application of photonic crystals to quantum information processing, as well as the use of photonic crystals for practical tools in optical telecommunication and sensing.
PECASE awards are presented annually to recipients at a special White House ceremony. For more information about the PECASE award, visit http://www.nsf.gov/od/oia/activities/pecase/.
Published November 6, 2010