APS News

New U.S. National Security Faculty Fellows Announced

Awardees will receive up to $3 million over 5 years

July 28, 2015

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has selected seven scientists as 2015 National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellows (NSSEFF), and physicists dominate the ranks. The program supports strategically important basic science research with grants of up to $3 million over five years, focusing on research that has the potential to revolutionize entire fields of study and lead to important new technologies. Six of the seven selected are in the physical sciences, along with one mathematician.

The fellowship will fund research by Alan Aspuru-Guzik of Harvard University, an APS Fellow and Life Member, who works at the intersection of quantum information, theoretical chemistry, and renewable energy. Aspuru-Guzik will develop quantum computation algorithms for the purpose of simulating quantum chemistry and materials.

APS Fellow Nader Engheta, of the University of Pennsylvania, will explore methods for controlling thermal, electromagnetic, and acoustic properties of materials using asymmetric nanostructures. Engheta is known for his work on metamaterials — precisely engineered materials that can manipulate electromagnetic waves.

Jeremy Levy of the University of Pittsburgh will work on correlated nanoelectronics, an emerging field of research that combines the fields of semiconductor nanoelectronics and complex oxides. Levy, a condensed matter physicist and an APS Fellow and Life Member, is director of the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute.

APS Fellow Mikhail Lukin of Harvard University was awarded a fellowship for research focusing on quantum metrology and sensing. Lukin, whose research is in theoretical and experimental quantum optics, atomic physics, and quantum information science, will develop a new generation of highly sensitive quantum sensors.

APS Fellow Christopher Palmstrøm of the University of California, Santa Barbara will explore new materials using Heusler compounds, which can have a wide range of tunable electrical and magnetic properties.

The final physicist in the group is Ivan Schuller of the University of California, San Diego. Schuller, a condensed matter physicist, earned a fellowship for his project on “Bio-Inspired Functional Hybrids,” for which he will study heterostructured hybrids of strongly correlated oxides, fluorides, and nitrides with metals.

Mathematician Robert Ghrist of the University of Pennsylvania was also awarded a fellowship for research in the field of algebraic topology and sheaf theory. 

The program is the largest single-investigator basic research grant within DoD. The search for next year’s group of fellows is currently underway. White papers are due August 10.