Three MIT researchers are among the recipients of Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) bestowed in a December ceremony by President Clinton. Winners from the Institute are Associate Professor Nesbitt Hagood of aeronautics and astronautics, Doherty Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Paul Laibinis, and Associate Professor of Economics Michael Kremer.
The awards carry a grant of $100,000 per year for up to five years. Professor Laibinis was cited by the US Navy, his sponsor for the award, "for studies of self-assembled monolayers that have already transitioned to patented microelectrodes and are the basis for micropatterned biosensor arrays." The Navy also commended Professor Hagood for "pioneering achievements" in the area of structural vibrations, "including design and fabrication of materials. and the creation of active electronic control methodology."
This is the second consecutive year that the MIT economics department has won this award; last year's recipient was Associate Professor Jonathan Gruber.
The National Science Foundation, Professor Kremer's sponsor, lauded him for "path-breaking work on the role of education and health policy in developing nations and for creative and insightful analysis of economic growth and economic development, including research on factors that affect divergent growth rates among industrial economics and determine standards of living and economic growth rates in developing nations."
The awards, formerly known as Presidential Faculty Fellow Awards, recognize demonstrated excellence and promise of future success in scientific or engineering research, and the potential for eventual leadership in recipients' respective fields. Candidates are nominated by agencies across the federal government.
The Environmental Protection Agency has given an Early Career Research Award to Paula Hammond, the Herman P. Meissner Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering. The five-year grant will fund a project on design, synthesis and transport properties of dendrimeric polymer membranes. For the same project, she was also nominated by the EPA as an alternate for the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (see preceding item).
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 29, 1997.