Career booster

2 engineers receive prestigious NSF awards

Two faculty members from the School of Engineering have received National Science Foundation Career Awards, prizes given in support of the early career development of teacher-scholars. The award is considered one of the foundation’s most prestigious prizes in support of junior faculty members.

Laurie Baise © MELODY KO

Laurie Baise, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Irene Georgakoudi, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering, received the awards for activities that “most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization.”

Baise won her prize for a project called “Integrated Research and Education in Regional Evaluation of Seismic Hazards,” which seeks to improve visualization and analysis tools to evaluate seismic hazards. With such tools, communities would be better able to plan for such hazards and to mitigate their effects on buildings. The educational aim is to encourage the next generation of engineers and scientists to work on seismic hazards and to educate students about the causes of geologic hazards and their associated risks.

Georgakoudi’s work seeks to gain new insight into important interactions between cells and surrounding proteins during tissue development under both healthy and diseased conditions. She is developing imaging methods to monitor these interactions in a non-invasive way. The research component will be highly integrated with the educational component, which involves activities from kindergarten through graduate school. She will coordinate her work through the Center for Engineering Educational Outreach. Both undergraduate and graduate courses in biomedical engineering will be enhanced by experimental and theoretical work based on her research.

Irene Georgakoudi © BRIAN LOEB