John Hart receives 2008 DARPA Young Faculty Award

March 18, 2008


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has identified 39 rising stars in university microsystems research to receive Young Faculty Awards. The researchers are on the faculty of 27 universities located in 17 different states. Subject to negotiation, each will receive a grant of approximately $150,000 to be used to further develop and validate their research idea during the coming year. The list of selected researchers is attached below.

DARPA’s Young Faculty Award program, now in its second year, is designed to seek out ideas from non-tenured faculty in order to identify the next generation of researchers working in microsystems technology. The funded researchers will focus on concepts that are innovative, speculative, and high-risk. DARPA expects that the innovations researched under the Young Faculty Award program will assist in identifying new areas of research that are sufficiently important and challenging to warrant additional DARPA programs. DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office sponsors the Young Faculty Award program.

“This year’s Young Faculty Award competition produced more than 250 exciting ideas from the best and brightest young faculty in the US. The quality of these ideas and the talent of the applicant pool made this a valuable event for us, and we’re especially excited to work with the awardees in the next year and, hopefully, throughout their careers,” noted Dr. Thomas Kenny, DARPA’s program manager for the initiative.

The 39 researchers to be funded were selected through a three-stage, competitive process. DARPA initially received brief abstracts from 277 young faculty applicants from universities all over the country. Following a review of the abstracts, DARPA invited 59 abstract authors to attend a DARPA Microsystems Technology Office Workshop, discuss their ideas with DARPA program managers, and learn more about the Agency. For the final selection stage, DARPA invited all 59 researchers to submit proposals explaining their program idea in more detail and identifying the key technical challenges to be overcome. The 39 rising stars were selected based on DARPA’s review of 57 submitted proposals.

The mission of DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office is to exploit breakthroughs in materials, devices, circuits, and mathematics to develop components that are more advanced than today’s leading-edge devices and that have revolutionary performance and functionality to enable new capabilities for the Department of Defense. The office seeks out innovations enabling revolutionary advances in physics, materials, and devices in electronics, photonics, microelectromechanical systems, microsystems architectures, and/or algorithms. These areas form the foundation for developing integrated microsystems with revolutionary capabilities, low power consumption, and small form-factors.

The 39 researchers selected for grant negotiations are:
Abbasour-Tamijani, Abbas; Arizona State University; Tempe, Arizona
Programmable Acoustic Filters Based on Silicon Microstructures

Afshari, Ehsan; Cornell University; Ithaca, New York
Optotronics: Optically Inspired Electronics

Averitt, Richard; Boston University; Boston, Massachusetts
Metamaterial Enhanced MEMS for Terahertz Technology

Bank, Seth; University of Texas at Austin; Austin, Texas
Compact, High-Efficiency, Mid-Infrared Dilute-Nitride Diode Lasers

Bergbreiter, Sarah; University of Maryland, College Park; College Park, Maryland
Silicon/Elastomer Components for Autonomous Jumping Microrobots

Bhave, Sunil; Cornell University; Ithaca, New York
Silicon Opto-Acoustic Oscillator

Buehler, Markus J.; MIT; Cambridge, Massachusetts
Bio-Inspired Nano-Engineered Hierarchical Structures for Adaptive Thermal Management

Bunch, Joseph; University of Colorado, Boulder; Boulder, Colorado
Graphene Membrane

Cloutier, Sylvain; University of Delaware; Newark, Delaware
Low-Cost Chip-Integrated Small Form-Factor Random Lasers for Advanced High-Speed Opto-Electronic Hybrid Circuits

Drndic, Marija; University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Electrical Multiple Exciton Generation (MEG) Detection in Semiconductor Nanocrystals and the Development of Efficient and Tunable Single-Nanocrystal Photodectors

Hart, A. John; University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, Michigan
Hybrid Nanostructure Arrays for Micro-and Nano-scale Energy Conversion and Storage

Hashemi, Hossein; University of Southern California; Los Angeles, California
Silicon-based Ultra Wideband Camera for Spatial and Spectral Awareness

Her, Tsinghua; University of North Carolina, Charlotte; Charlotte, North Carolina
Gain-Guiding in Photonic Bandgap Fibers: A New Paltform for Ultra High-Power Lasers and Amplifiers

Hidrovo, Carlos; University of Texas at Austin; Austin, Texas
High Speed Droplet Flows: Microscale Total Analysis and Thermal Management Systems Applications

Jiang, Hongrui; University of Wisconsin, Madison; Madison, Wisconsin
Super Artificial Eyes (SAE)

Jovanovic, Igor; Purdue University; West Lafayette, Indiana
Direct Temporal Pulse Shaping Via Phase-Sensitive Three-Wave Mixing

Keiko Luscombe, Christine; University of Washington; Seattle, Washington
Nanostructures for Optimal Energy Harvesting

Leuenberger, Michael; University of Central Florida; Orlando, Florida
High-Temperature Electrially Driven Mbps Single-Photon Source at Telecom Wavelengths

Li, Yifei; University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth; Dartmouth, Massachusetts Integrated Photonic Frequency Mixer

Ma, Zhenqiang (Jack); University of Wisconsin, Madison; Madison, Wisconsin
Toward 3D Si Photonics: DBR-Free VCSELs on Si Enabled with Manufacturable Nanomembrane Stacking

Oldham, Kenn; University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, Michigan
Energy Efficient Piezoelectric Servo Control for Micro-Robotics

Palacios, Tomás; MIT; Cambridge Massachusetts
On-Wafer Integration of Nitride and Silicon CMOS Electronics

Park, Harold; University of Colorado, Boulder; Boulder, Colorado
Novel Multiscale CAE Tools for Surface-Dominated NEMS

Pennathur, Sumita; University of California, SB; Santa Barbara, California
Portable, Efficient Electrokinetic Energy Generation using a Novel Graphene based Nanofluidic Device

Pop, Eric; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Urbana, Illinois
Femto-Joule Atomic-Scale Reversible Switch

Rana, Farhan; Cornell University; Ithaca, New York
Terahertz Plasmon Oscillators: Lasers for Circuits

Reano, Ronald; Ohio State University; Columbus, Ohio
All-Dielectric Doubly Resonant RF/Optical Degenerate Band-Edge Crystal Antenna

Ricketts, David; Carnegie Mellon University; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Spin-torque Oscillators for Spectrum- agile RF

Sharping, Jay; University of California - Merced; Merced, California
Wideband Quantum Frequency Conversion in Optical Fibers: Enabling Transparent Quantum Information Processing

Tan, Wei; University of Colorado, Boulder; Boulder, Colorado
Highly Selective, Stable and Manufacturable Nano-Bio-Sensor

Tutuc, Emanuel; University of Texas at Austin; Austin, Texas
Germanium Nanowire Gate All Around Tunneling Field Effect Transistors

Vasilyev, Michael; University of Texas at Arlington; Arlington, Texas
Coherent Nonlinear-Optical Image Processing in Plasmonic Metamaterial

Vuckovic, Jelena; Stanford University; Stanford, California
Ultrafast Optical Switches Controlled at a Single Photon Level

Wakin, Michael B.; University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, Michigan
Geometric Methods for Compressive Multi-Signal Processing

Wang, Chunlei; Florida International University; Miami, Florida
Fabrication of Nano Fractal Electrodes for On-Chip Supercapacitor Application

Wang, Evelyn N.; MIT; Cambridge, Massachusett
Tunable Nanostructured Arrays for Stable High-Flux Microchannel Heat Sinks

Williams, Benjamin; University of California, Los Angeles; Los Angeles, California
Nanowire Heterostructure Intersublevel Optoelectronic

Yang, Ronggui; University of Colorado, Boulder; Boulder, Colorado
Surface-Plasmon Enabled High Efficiency Thermoelectric Devices

Zheng, Xiaolin; Stanford University; Stanford, California
Cell Motion-Based Toxin Detector Using Nanowires