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Honors and Other Things

February 8, 2011, Volume 57, No. 21

NSF CAREER Award: Daniel Gianola


Daniel Gianola, Skirkanich Assistant Professor in the department of materials science and engineering, has received an NSF CAREER award for his proposal, “Mechanics of Ultra-strength Nanomaterials: Revealing Deformation Mechanisms.”

The CAREER award is the NSF’s most prestigious award 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.

Dr. Gianola’s research interests lie in the area of nanomechanics, and his research program focuses on understanding, modeling and predicting the mechanical response of advanced materials at reduced length scales. His experimental studies use new methodologies for the quantitative mechanical testing of materials at the nanoscale and state-of-the-art electron microscopy techniques to observe the processes that govern their behavior.

Dr. Gianola’s CAREER proposal employs a suite of quantitative in situ nanomechanical experiments to provide essential links between directly observed structures, defect nucleation and evolution, length scales and attendant materials response. Systematically varying the testing temperature and employing transient mechanical tests (e.g. strain-rate changes, stress relaxations) will quantitatively elucidate the energy barriers for plastic deformation at the nanoscale.


Thouron Awardees

The Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowship (CURF) announced a Penn record-tying seven Thouron Award winners who will study in the United Kingdom.

Grace Ambrose will graduate in 2011 from the College of Arts & Sciences with a BA in the history of art, as well as a minor in creative writing. She has worked at the Whitney Museum in New York and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, and plans to study curation.

Sourav Bose will graduate in 2011 from the Wharton School with a BS in economics and crisis management and from the College of Arts & Sciences with a BA in biology, as part of the Roy and Diana Vagelos Dual Degree Program in Life Sciences and Management. He was the chief of the University’s Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) for two years. Mr. Bose is also the founder and chair of a nonprofit organization that focuses on health education and literacy in India. He is a University Scholar who plans to study global health science.

Nimit Jain will graduate in 2011 from the Wharton School with a BS in economics and from the College of Arts & Sciences with a BA in science, technology and society, as well as a minor in nanotechnology from the School of Engineering & Applied Science. He has worked extensively in both the for-profit and nonprofit business world, including Google, Xerox, Amnesty International and the United Nations. He plans to study information, communication and social science.

Aaron Levy will graduate in 2011 from the College of Arts & Sciences with a BA and a MA in physics, as well as a minor in mathematics. He has conducted both practical and theoretical research while at Penn in addition to his coursework, and holds a deep and abiding interest in the fundamental principles of the universe. He plans to study applied mathematics.

Julia Luscombe graduated in 2010 from the Wharton School with a BA in economics (OPIM), and from the College of Arts & Sciences with a BA in international studies and a minor in French. She will be receiving a certificate in Latin American Studies from the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Quito, Ecuador, in 2011. She worked extensively on issues of both local and international development while at Penn, and continues to do so through her work at the Fundación Pachamama in Ecuador, through a Fulbright Scholarship. Ms. Luscombe is a University Scholar and a Fulbright Scholar. She plans to study local and international development.

Rachel Romeo will graduate in 2011 from the College of Arts & Sciences with a BA in both psychology and linguistics. She has conducted significant psychological and linguistic research while at Penn. Ms. Romeo is also deeply involved with the performing arts at Penn, and is an accomplished comedienne and performer. She plans to study language sciences and speech, language and cognition.  

Valeria Tsygankova will graduate in 2011 from the College of Arts & Sciences with a BA in English. She is the editor-in-chief of both the First Call and Penn Review campus publications, and has been published both on- and off-campus. Ms. Tsygankova is a previous recipient of the Beinecke Scholarship and is a Benjamin Franklin Scholar. She plans to study the history of the book.

Dr. Engheta: SPIE Fellow


Dr. Nader Engheta, H. Nedwill Ramsey Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering and professor of bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, has been elected Fellow of SPIE—the International

Society for Optical Engineering—for “pioneering contributions to the fields of metamaterials, plasmonic nano-optics, biologically inspired optical imaging, and electrodynamics.”

Fellows are SPIE members of distinction who have made significant scientific and technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics, and imaging.

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies.




Penn: High Number of Degrees to Future CEOs

According to a US News & World Report study of the educational backgrounds of 2010’s Fortune 500 CEOs, Penn ranks third amongst the schools with the highest number of degrees awarded to those who became CEOs. Penn trailed behind Harvard University and Columbia University, with a total of 20 degrees (graduate and undergraduate).

Dr. Pinto: Editorial Board

Dr. Andres Pinto, assistant professor of oral medicine at Penn Dental Medicine, has been appointed to the editorial board of the oral medicine section of Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology and Endodontology (OOOOE). His appointment was effective January 1, 2011.

“Dr. Pinto was invited to join the board because of his expertise, knowledge, and willingness to serve the profession,” said Dr. Craig S. Miller, editor of the oral medicine section of OOOOE, on Dr. Pinto’s appointment. The editorial board includes leading clinicians and educators from around the world.

Almanac - February 8, 2011, Volume 57, No. 21