AFOSR Awards Grants to 58 Scientists and Engineers through its Young Investigator Research Program

  • Published
  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research Staff

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA -- The Air Force Office of Scientific Research today announced that it will award approximately $20.8 million in grants to 58 scientists and engineers from 41 research institutions and small businesses who submitted winning research proposals through the Air Force's Young Investigator Research Program (YIP).



The YIP is open to scientists and engineers at research institutions across the United States who received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in the last five years and who show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research.



The objective of this program is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering.



This year AFOSR received over 230 proposals in response to the AFOSR broad agency announcement solicitation. These technical areas included: Aerospace Materials for Extreme Environments, Aerothermodynamics, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Biophysics, Computational Cognition and Machine, Computational Mathematics, Data Driven Applications Systems, Dynamics and Control, Dynamics Materials and Interactions, Electromagnetics and Sensing, Surveillance and Navigation, Energy Conversion and Combustion Sciences, Flow Interactions and Control, GHz-THz Electronics, Human Performance and Biosystems, Information Operations and Security, Laser and Optical Physics, Low Density Materials, Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Microsystems, Molecular Dynamics and Theoretical Chemistry, Multi-Scale Structural Mechanics and Prognosis, Natural Materials and Systems, Optimization and Discrete Mathematics, Optoelectronics and Physics, Organic Materials Chemistry, Quantum Electronic Solids, Quantum Information Science, Remote Sensing and Imaging, Science of Information, Computation and Fusion, Space Power and Propulsion, Software and Systems, Test and Evaluation, and Turbulence and Transition.



AFOSR program officers select proposals based on the evaluation criteria listed in the broad agency announcement. Those selected will receive the grant over a 3 year period.



The recipients and their anticipated research areas are:

• Dr. Jonathan Boreyko, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Planar Bridging-Droplet Thermal Diodes


• Dr. Jeremy Bos, Michigan Technical University, Imaging Theory and Mitigation in Extreme Turbulence-Induced Anisoplanatism


• Dr. James Chen, Kansas State University, A Multiscale Morphing Continuum Analysis on Energy Cascade of Compressible Turbulence


• Dr. Qian Chen, University of Illinois - Urbana – Champaign, Understanding the “Mission Versatility” of Membrane Proteins via Nanoscopic Imaging


• Dr. Jun Choi, Syracuse University, Adaptable Compressed Jaumann Absorber for Harsh and Dynamic Electromagnetic Environments


• Dr. Sukwon Choi, Pennsylvania State University, Thermal/Mechanical Investigation of Ultra-Wide Bandgap Materials and Devices


• Dr. Jiun-Haw Chu, University of Washington, New Superconductors near Broken Rotational Symmetry Instabilities


• Dr. Saptarshi Das, Pennsylvania State University, Investigation of Scalability and Reliability of Contacts to Two Dimensional Layered Semiconductors


• Dr. Nathalie de Leon, Princeton University, Systematic Search for New Color Centers in Diamond for Quantum Technologies


• Dr. Parag Deotare, University of Michigan, Nanoscale Exciton-Mechanical Systems (NEXMS)


• Dr. Finale Doshi-Velez, Harvard College, Generating Multiple Hypotheses in Non-negative Matrix Factorization and Related Linear Models


• Dr. Hadi Esmaeilzadeh, Georgia Tech Research Corporation, Accelerated System Design for Perception and Control in Energy-Constrained UAVs


• Dr. Sanjam Garg, University of California – Berkeley, Cryptography for Big Data


• Dr. Maryam Ghazisaeidi, Ohio State University, Electronic Structure Basis for Solubility and Phase Stability in Metal Alloys


• Dr. Joel Harley, University of Utah, Predictive, Model-Assisted Guided Wave Structural Health Monitoring


• Dr. Marcus Holzinger, Georgia Tech Research Corporation, Dynamic Data Driven Electro-Optical Sensor Detection, Tracking, and Multi-Objective Control


• Dr. Yongjie Hu, University of California - Los Angeles, Ultrafast Energy Diagnostics and Deterministic Design of Nano-Architectures for Self-Resilient Plasma Materials


• Dr. Yuhang Hu, University of Illinois - Urbana – Champaign, Tough Gel: A Perfect Platform for Designing Chemomechano-chemically Responsive Multi-functional Materials


• Dr. Pinshane Huang, University of Illinois - Urbana – Champaign, Probing the Atomic Origins of Electronic States in Low Dimensional Materials and Interfaces


• Dr. Chen-Lung Hung, Purdue University, Long-Range Quantum Magnetism in Atom-Nanophotonic Hybrid Lattices


• Dr. B. Reeja Jayan, Carnegie Mellon University, Far-from-Equilibrium Structures and Processes using Electromagnetic Fields: Non-Thermal Effects


• Dr. Dong Jin, Illinois Institute of Technology, DDDAS-CRAFTS: A DDDAS-based Cyber-Resilient and Attack-Secure Framework for Trustworthy Industrial Control Systems


• Dr. Christopher Johnson, Stonybrook University, Probing Electronic Structure and Energy Transfer in Protected Metal Nanoparticles by Mass-Selective Spectroscopy


• Dr. Ross Knepper, Cornell University, Enabling Robust Persistent Autonomy in Robots


• Dr. George Konidaris, Brown University, Constructing Abstraction Hierarchies for Robust, Real-Time Control


• Dr. Daniel Krogstad, University of Illinois - Urbana – Champaign, Development of Ordered Nanocomposites through the use of Block Copolymer Self-Assembly and Additive Manufacturing


• Dr. Jean-Briac le Graverend, Texas A&M University, Microstructural Instabilities in Single Crystal Metals for Extreme Environments


• Dr. Javad Lavaei, University of California – Berkeley, Efficient Mathematical Methods for the Optimization of Large and Complex Systems


• Dr. Na Li, Harvard College, Distributed Coordination in Multi-Agent Networked Systems: Algorithms and Fundamental Limits


• Dr. Weiyang Li, Dartmouth College, Fundamental Studies on Next-Generation High-Energy and Low-Cost Sodium-Sulfur Batteries


• Dr. Guoliang Liu, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Nanoporous Carbon Fiber Based on Polyacrylonitrile-containing Block Copolymers: A Hierarchical, Multi-lengthscale


• Dr. Mitul Luhar, University of Southern California, Tunable Porous and Patterned Surfaces for Turbulence Control


• Dr. Robert Macfarlane, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, DNA-Programmed Epitaxy of Nanoparticle Superlattices


• Dr. Jay Mathews, University of Dayton, Development of GeSn Waveguide Lasers for SWIR and MWIR Applications


• Dr. Matthew McDowell, Georgia Tech Research Corporation, Reaction-Induced Sintering for Fabrication of Bulk Nanoporous and Composite Metals


• Dr. Owen Miller, Yale University, Fundamental Limits to Electromagnetic Response in Novel Platforms


• Dr. Rahul Nandkishore, University of Colorado – Boulder, Non-equilibrium Dynamics and Many Body Localization in Ultracold Atoms


• Dr. Brent Nannenga, Arizona State University, Structural Studies to Elucidate the Mechanisms of Biobased Nanoparticle Synthesis


• Dr. Roberto Palmieri, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Programming Extensions to Exploit Semantics in Concurrent Applications


• Dr. Dimitra Panagou, University of Michigan, From High-Level Task Specifications to Geometric Control via Lyapunov Abstractions


• Dr. Matthew Panthani, Iowa State University of Science and Technology, Group IV Quantum Dots for Integrated Photonics  


• Dr. Srikanth Patala, North Carolina State University, A Machine-Learning Approach Towards Quantitative Structure-Property Relationships for Metallic Interfaces


• Dr. Emilie Ringe, Rice University, Tailoring of Opto-Electronic Properties of 2D Semiconductors via Defect Engineering


• Dr. Justin Sambur, Colorado State University, Super–Resolution Imaging of Charge Carrier Recombination and Transport in Ultrathin Liquid Junction Photovoltaics


• Dr. Michelle Sander, Boston University, Cell Membrane Dynamics in Infrared Nerve Stimulation and Blocking


• Dr. Soumik Sarkar, Iowa State University of Science and Technology, A Neural-Symbolic approach to Real-time Decision-making in Complex Aerospace Systems


• Dr. Hayden Schaeffer, Carnegie Mellon University, Sparse Modeling and Machine Learning for Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations


• Dr. John Schaibley, University of Arizona, Plasmonic Amplification through On-Chip, Four-Wave Mixing in Hybrid 2D Material Plasmonic Structures


• Dr. Shreyas Sen, Purdue University, Security and Conduction Properties of Interference-Robust Human Body Communication (IR-HBC) for Secure Remote Health Monitoring using Physiological Sensor Data


• Dr. Travis Sippel, Iowa State University of Science and Technology, Microwave Enhancement of Composite Solid Propellant Flames


• Dr. Kelly Stephani, University of Illinois - Urbana – Champaign, Fundamental Energy Transfer Mechanisms in High Temperature Phonon-mediated Gas-surface Interactions


• Dr. WaiChing Sun, Columbia University, Modeling the High-rate Responses of Wetted Granular Materials Across Scales and the Third-party Replicable Validation Exercises Utilizing 3D Printers


• Dr. Ali Tamijani, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Investigation of Load Path Based Topology Optimization


• Dr. Liping Wang, Arizona State University, Radiative Thermal Transport with Nanowire-Based Uniaxial Electromagnetic Metamaterials


• Dr. He Wang, University of Miami, Structure-Photophysics-Function Relationship of Perovskite Materials


• Dr. Wei Xiong, University of California - San Diego, Tracking Ultrafast Charge Dynamics in Energy Materials with Atomic Specificity


• Dr. Bingjun Xu, University of Delaware, Flameless Combustion of Hydrogen in UAVs Develop Efficient Anode Catalyst for Hydrogen Oxidation Reaction in Alkaline Media


• Dr. Mohsen Zayernouri, Michigan State University, Data-Infused Fractional PDE Modelling and Simulation of Anomalous Transport