July 15, 2019 Exceptional engineering faculty win prestigious U.S. presidential awards for early-career scientists Written By: Staff Departments: Chemical & Biological Engineering|Materials Science & Engineering Categories Awards Two outstanding engineering faculty members received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Established in 1996 and considered one of the highest honors for early-stage researchers given by the U.S. government, the PECASE awards recognize outstanding scientists and engineers who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology. The 2019 College of Engineering winners were: Xudong Wang, professor of materials science and engineering and a world expert in nanomaterial growth and nanodevice development for advanced nanoelectronic systems and energy harvesting. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services nominated him for research developing small generators that harvest energy from the movement of the human body to power biomedical devices to monitor vital signs and apply treatment.Victor Zavala, Baldovin-DaPra Associate Professor of chemical and biological engineering and a global leader in mathematical optimization models, as well as scalable computational techniques. The U.S. Department of Energy nominated him for contributions to the computational strategies applied to advanced control of power systems, and for service to the educational community as an enthusiastic professor and mentor. Wang and Zavala are among four UW-Madison researchers and one affiliated researcher to earn the honor. Additional awardees from UW-Madison include Jeffrey Lorch, a microbiologist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center; Jonathan Engle, assistant professor of medical physics; and Erika Marín-Spiotta, associate professor of geography.