Stanier, Wu Win Prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Awards

Friday, March 27, 2009

University of Iowa News Release

Prestigious awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will help one University of Iowa College of Engineering researcher to refine air pollution studies and another to improve medical imaging systems.

Charles Stanier, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, and Xiaodong Wu, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, have been selected by the NSF to receive Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards for 2008 and 2009, respectively. As award recipients, Stanier and Wu will each receive about $400,000 over the next five years.

The CAREER award is the most prestigious NSF honor for junior faculty and recognizes research and teaching excellence, as well as scholars who are likely to become future academic leaders. The awards, presented to engineers and scientists across the country, are designed to help universities attract and retain outstanding young faculty members.

Stanier received his CAREER Award for the project titled "Strengthening the Predictive Ability for New Particle Formation: A Combined Field, Data Analysis, and Modeling Approach." In addition to the NSF award, he recently received about $900,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to identify some of the most hazardous air pollutants in major U.S. cities. The overall goal of his research is to develop techniques to measure air quality that will assist scientists in predicting the effects of air quality on human health and climate. The NSF award also provides for an outreach program for high school science teachers to improve science education in Iowa.

Stanier is currently a researcher at the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, a research engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, and an investigator at the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center. He received his doctorate in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2003 and joined the UI faculty in 2004.

Wu received his CAREER Award to conduct work on "Novel Geometric Techniques for Optimal Surface Detection in Medical Images." Wu's research recognizes that much of the information available in current 3-D medical images is visually analyzed in only two dimensions and, therefore, the full 3-D information is not used for clinical diagnostic purposes. He plans to give medical researchers access to inherently 3-D analysis outcomes through the use of rigorous computational techniques. The NSF award will also help extend the strength of biomedical research at the UI to interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs.

Wu holds a joint appointment as assistant professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. He received his doctorate in computer science and engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 2002 and joined the UI faculty in 2005.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,