Two engineers win National Science Foundation CAREER Awards

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Two Penn State engineering faculty members were recently awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards.

The faculty members are Gordon Warn, assistant professor of civil engineering, and Tak-Sing Wong, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

The prestigious NSF CAREER Awards provide five years of funding for researchers. They are designed to support junior faculty who have shown exceptional promise in teaching and research.

Warn received a $400,000 grant for the project "A Performance-Based Multi-Objective Optimization Framework to Define Innovative Structural Concepts and Support the Seismic Design of Critical Buildings."

His work seeks to develop a computational framework that simultaneously identifies innovative structural concepts and tradeoffs between conflicting design objectives to support decision-making.

Warn has been a member of the Penn State faculty since 2008. His research interests include high performance structural systems for hazard mitigation; modeling and diagnostic assessment of complex systems; many-objective optimization and visual analytics; and structural monitoring for the health assessment of structural components and systems.

Wong received a $400,000 grant for the project "Nature's Mix and Match: Designing Omniphobic Surfaces with Multi-Functional Characteristics."

The effort looks to design and develop a new class of biologically inspired interfacial materials with multi-functional characteristics. These bio-inspired materials will be based on the surface engineering principles of a number of plant, insect and animal species, such as the lotus leaf, butterfly, Tokay gecko, beetle, springtail and pitcher plant.

Wong has been a member of the Penn State faculty since 2013. His research interests include biomimicry and bio-inspired engineering; wetting and interfacial engineering; and micro- and nanomanufacturing.

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Last Updated January 21, 2014