Smalyukh receives Early Career Award from DOE

By Staff

University of Colorado Physics professor Ivan Smalyukh, right, works with graduate student Angel Martinez in his laboratory where he uses lasers to trap and manipulate liquid crystals. (Photo by Glenn J. Asakawa/University of Colorado)

Ivan Smalyukh, an assistant professor of physics at the University of Colorado Boulder and a founding fellow of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI), has been awarded a 2013 Early Career Award from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The award is $750,000 over five years and Smalyukh will use the funding to study the self-assembly of nano-sized particles into colloidal composites, work that may enable cheaper and more efficient renewable energy technologies as well as more energy-efficient displays on consumer devices such as laptops and smart phones.

Smalyukh is one 61 scientists to receive awards. This year’s winners were selected from a pool of about 770 applicants. The DOE’s Early Career Research Program is in its fourth year.

“The Early Career Research Program reflects the administration's strong commitment to creating jobs and new industries through scientific innovation,” said Acting Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. “Strong support of scientists early in their careers is crucial to sustaining America’s scientific workforce and assuring U.S. leadership in discovery and innovation for many years to come.”

Smalyukh has been honored with two other early career awards. In 2009, Smalyukh also was chosen for the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development, or CAREER, award, the agency’s most prestigious award to junior faculty members. And in 2010, Smalyukh was awarded the coveted Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, or PECASE.