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3/15/2018

Engineering trio lands UW-Madison faculty fellowships

Three faculty members from the College of Engineering are among the recipients of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s 2018 faculty fellowships to support young and mid-career scholars.

Shaoqin (Sarah) Gong, professor of biomedical engineering, and Katherine (Trina) McMahon, professor of bacteriology and professor of civil and environmental engineering, received Kellett Mid-Career Awards, which support faculty who are seven to 20 years past their first promotion to tenured positions. The awards provide $75,000 to be spent over five years.

Meanwhile, Ive Hermans, professor of chemistry and chemical and biological engineering, received an H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship, awarded to faculty up to six years past their first promotion to tenured positions. Romnes Fellowships come with $60,000 to be spent over five years.

Gong, a Vilas Distinguished Professor, engineers multifunctional nanomaterials for various applications, including delivering drugs to more safely treat cancer, heart disease and other conditions. Her multidisciplinary research bridges engineering, materials sciences, chemistry and the life sciences.

McMahon, a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor, studies the water microbiome and the ecology and evolution of freshwater lake bacteria and bacteria responsible for cleaning wastewater.

Hermans, the John and Dorothy Vozza Professor, leads research to sustainably synthesize chemicals and fuels using catalysts.

Both awards are funded by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation using income generated by successful research licenses by UW-Madison faculty and staff.

Two win Vilas Associates

Two more engineering faculty members are among the 2018-19 recipients of the Vilas Associates Competition: Susan Hagness and John Yin. The awards provide salary support and $25,000 in flexible research funding over two years.

Hagness, the Philip Dunham Reed Professor of electrical and computer engineering, studies applied electromagnetics, with a particular focus on developing diagnostic and therapeutic technologies for biomedical applications.

Yin, professor of chemical and biological engineering and a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor, works to better understand how viruses grow and how their infections spread through new experimental and computational methods.

Sohi wins Hilldale

Gurindar (Guri) Sohi, who holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Computer Sciences and Electrical and Computer Engineering, is one of four winners of the 2018 Hilldale Awards. Each year, four faculty members are honored for their teaching, research and service, with one recipient coming from each of the four academic divisions (arts and humanities, biological sciences, physical sciences and social sciences). Winners receive a cash prize of $7,500.

Sohi, a Vilas Research Professor and the E. David Cronon Professor of Computer Sciences and Electrical and Computer Engineering, has served on the faculty since 1985. His research on computer processors continues to influence the field. Companies such as Intel and Apple have used designs based on his work.

Three more Vilas professorships

Engineering faculty members Parmesh Ramanathan, Oliver Schmitz and Raluca Scarlat have received Vilas awards supported by the estate of former UW-Madison professor, U.S. senator and UW Regent William F. Vilas.

Ramanathan, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, earned a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorship in recognition of distinguished scholarship and excellence in teaching and service. The award provides five years of flexible funding.

Schmitz, an associate professor of engineering physics, secured a Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Award for research and teaching excellence. The honor includes one year of flexible research funding.

Scarlat, an assistant professor of engineering physics, landed a Vilas Faculty Early Career Investigator Award, given to faculty who have stood out for research and teaching early in their careers. It also provides one year of flexible research funding.