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Five from MIT receive DoE early career research grants

(This story has been updated to reflect the announcement of a new grant recipient, Mircea Dinca, in addition to the original four from MIT.)

Five MIT faculty members will receive grants from the Department of Energy through its 2011 Early Career Research Program.

Three of MIT's grant winners are from the Department of Physics — Nuh Gedik, Pablo Jarillo-Herrero and Jesse Thaler. The other winners are Anne White of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering and Mircea Dinca of the Department of Chemistry.

The DOE named 69 recipients nationwide, each of whom will receive at least $150,000 per year over five years.

Dinca, an assistant professor of chemistry, is working towards the synthesis of ordered microporous materials with tunable electron and ion transport properties, which have potential impact in electrical energy storage, electrocatalysis and ionic conductors, among other things.

Gedik, an assistant professor of physics, received funding for a proposed project to develop short‐pulse laser‐based experimental tools to probe the ultra‐fast electron dynamics of topological insulators — materials whose surface electrons have exceptional conducting properties distinct from the non‐conductive nature of the bulk insulator material.

Jarillo-Herrero, an assistant professor of physics, will use the funding to investigate novel quantum electronic transport phenomena in topological insulators.

Thaler, an assistant professor of physics, plans to develop theoretical insights in high-energy physics to galvanize the search for new physics at the Large Hadron Collider.

White, an assistant professor of nuclear science and engineering, will pursue a project to merge experiment and theory by using advanced turbulence simulations to aid in the design of a new turbulence diagnostic system that will be used to test the fundamental physics of turbulent transport in tokamak plasmas.

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