Presidential award

Virginia A. Davis (second from left), associate professor in chemical engineering, was among 85 researchers named by President Barack Obama as a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on early-career researchers. Davis was recognized for innovative research to advance the understanding of nanomaterials, as well as their dispersion, microstructure, processing and properties on a macro scale. She was also honored for engaging in outreach activities involving K-12 students from underrepresented groups. Davis’ research explores how ultra-small materials, known as nanomaterials, can be assembled into newer, more advanced materials, including macroelectronic devices, sensors, electro-optical devices and antimicrobial coatings that could prevent diseases from spreading on contaminated surfaces.

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