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Illinois Tech Celebrates Record Five CAREER Awards

[left to right]: Carrie M. Hall, Ankit Srivastava, Lili Du, Lin Cai, Jeff Wereszczynski

In December 2015, when Illinois Tech learned that Jeff Wereszczynski, assistant professor of physics, was the recipient of a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation, the news was exciting enough. His win brought the number of CAREER Awards presented to Illinois Tech faculty to 19, an impressive amount by any institution’s standards. Early this year the university received more exciting news—that four additional faculty members were honored with CAREER Awards for 2016, raising the new total to 23. The five awards are the highest number given to Illinois Tech in one year, according to data compiled by NSF since 1996.

Here is a brief recap of the research being done by Illinois Tech’s latest CAREER Award recipients:

Lin Cai, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering: “Fundamental Studies of Sustainable Wireless Communication System Powered by Renewable Energy”

Cai’s project explores how to optimize the use of energy harvested by renewable sources to meet the quality of service requirements of end users while ensuring sustainable operation of a communication system.

Lili Du, Assistant Professor of Transportation Engineering: “Integrated Online Coordinated Routing and Decentralized Control for Connected Vehicle Systems”

As a means of alleviating increasing traffic congestion, Du is exploring ways to coordinate the centralized movement of vehicles with the help of an innovative online routing system and other technologies.

Carrie M. Hall, Assistant Professor of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering: “Control of Advanced Fuel-Flexible Multi-Cylinder Engines”

Hall is investigating the dynamics and control of an advanced combustion strategy that has the potential to increase the efficiency of fuel-flexible diesel engines by up to 20 percent. 

Ankit Srivastava, Assistant Professor of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering: “Transformation Elastodynamics and Its Application to Wave Control in Solids”

The focus of Srivastava’s project is to learn how to control the flow of waves in solids through material design.

Jeff Wereszczynski, Assistant Professor of Physics: “The Effects of Post-Translational Modifications and Histone Variants on Chromatin Fiber Dynamics”

By conducting nucleosome analysis via computer simulations, Wereszczynski is working to reveal the mechanisms by which cells modulate the structure and dynamics of chromosomes, and how this affects the vital process of gene expression.