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Three COE Faculty Members Receive NSF CAREER Grants

Three College of Engineering assistant professors have received 1996 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grants from the National Science Foundation. These prestigious awards -- which replace the NSF Young Investigator and Research Initiation Awards -- recognize outstanding young faculty in science and engineering by providing flexible support for research and teaching. The recipients are Gerald R. Eykholt and José A. Pincheira of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Karen A. Thole from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.


Gerald R. Eykholt

Gerald R. Eykholt (large image)

Eykholt's efforts will focus on two emerging strategies to improve the remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater. They are electro-osmotic enhancements applied to low-permeability deposits in contaminated aquifers; and a novel, safe, abiotic reagent chemistry to reduce contamination in fractures and sandy zones. While the fundamentals of each technology are well defined, Eykholt will demonstrate how the two can be integrated for more effective environmental remediation.

José A. Pincheira

José A. Pincheira (large image)

Pincheira's project will focus on developing better methods for the seismic evaluation and retrofit of existing buildings for earthquake protection, particularly those with reinforced concrete frames. The investigation will have a direct impact on the future generation of performance-based seismic design guidelines. As part of the educational plan, Pincheira will also develop programs on infrastructure rehabilitation and composite materials for civil engineering applications.

Karen A. Thole

Karen A. Thole (large image)

Thole's two-fold project is titled, "A Research and Educational Career Program: Improving Gas Turbine Technology and Increasing the Number of Women in Engineering." The research plan addresses the effects of free-stream turbulence on turbine blade heat transfer. The educational plan includes recruiting and retaining female engineering students, and restructuring thermal sciences courses. Also as part of this grant, an optional all-women freshman engineering design course will be offered at UW-Madison.