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Two Natural Sciences Professors Win Sloan Fellowships

Two Natural Sciences Professors Win Sloan Fellowships

Two trailblazing faculty members from the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, along with two others from the Cockrell School of Engineering, have been awarded Sloan Research Fellowships for 2016.

Brett Baker (left) and Jeffrey Danciger (right) have been awarded Solan Research Fellowships

The prestigious fellowships are awarded every year by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to stimulate fundamental research by early-career engineers, scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. The 126 winners for 2016 were selected out of more than 600 nominations from top research universities in the Unites States and Canada. Fellows receive awards of $55,000 each to further their research.

The four UT Austin faculty members are:

Brett Baker, assistant professor in the Department of Marine Science, is a microbial ecologist whose research intersects the fields of ecology, evolution, oceanography and geochemistry. His work harnesses omic approaches (genomics, proteomics, and transcriptomics). By obtaining genomes of entirely new branches on the tree of life, his research also provides insights into how life has evolved on the planet. Baker earned his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, where he studied microbes in deep-sea hydrothermal plumes.

Jeffrey Danciger, assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics, received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Stanford University under Steven Kerckhoff. He was then awarded a Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship by the National Science Foundation and conducted postdoctoral research at The University of Texas at Austin. His research interests lie in low-dimensional geometry and topology including hyperbolic manifolds and other non-Euclidean geometric structures.

Delia Milliron, associate professor in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, specializes in chemical synthesis and assembly of nanostructured electronic and electrochemical materials, processing-structure-property relationships, energy and electronic devices. Milliron's research is motivated by new concepts for high-performance electrochromic smart windows, batteries and photovoltaic cells. She earned her Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.

Guihua Yu, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is developing low-cost, high-performance nanostructured materials that are environmentally friendly and compatible with large-scale processing for energy storage systems such as lithium batteries and electrochemical capacitors. In addition to his exploration of energy conversion technologies, Yu's research also focuses on self-assembly of nanostructures for bioelectronics. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University.

Since the establishment of the Sloan Research Fellowship, 43 fellows have received a Nobel Prize in their respective field, 16 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics and 68 have received the National Medal of Science.

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