2012 Research Excellence Award winners

Drs. Aravamudhan, Bililign, Kelkar, Mohan, Fini and Kumar

2012 Research Excellence Award winners (from left) Shyam Aravamudhan, Solomon Bililign, Ajit Kelkar, Ram Mohan, Ellie Fini, and Dhananjay Kumar.

Five outstanding faculty researchers and an interdisciplinary team were honored Wednesday with Research Excellence Awards at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

This year marked the establishment of two new awards – the Interdisciplinary Team Award and the Intellectual Property Award.

These two categories reflect trends that are dramatically changing the work of university researchers, said Dr. Celestine Ntuen, interim vice chancellor for research and economic development.

“Interdisciplinary work is critical to success in today’s world of emerging and converging technologies,” he said.  “And intellectual property is now one of the most important elements of a university’s research enterprise.  It’s a key to our ability to have a positive, meaningful impact on the economic development of our community and our state.”

This year’s winners are:

  • Senior Researcher of the Year (tie): Dr. Dhananjay Kumar, Department of Mechanical Engineering; and Dr. Ram Mohan, Department of Nanoengineering.
  • Outstanding Junior Researcher: Dr. Ellie Fini, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering.
  • Rookie of the Year: Dr. Shyam Aravamudhan, Department of Nanoengineering.
  • Intellectual Property Award: Dr. Ajit Kelkar, Department of Nanoengineering.
  • Interdisciplinary Team Award: NOAA Interdisciplinary Scientific Environmental Technology Cooperative Science Center, Dr. Solomon Bililign, director.

(For more information on their accomplishments, see the long version of this post.)

The winners were selected by the Research Excellence Awards Committee, a group of five faculty members appointed by Chancellor Harold L. Martin, Sr.   The nominees are the winners of the research awards in the colleges and schools.

This year’s nominees

Senior Researcher of the Year:

  • Dr. Luba Kurkalova, School of Business and Economics
  • Dr. Stephanie Lusk, School of Education
  • Dr. Musibau Shofoluwe, School of Technology

Outstanding Junior Researcher:

  • Dr. Lemuria Carter, School of Business and Finance
  • Dr. Yevgeniy Rastigeyev, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Shengmin Sang, School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
  • Dr. Qing-An Zeng, School of Technology

Rookie of the Year:

  • Dr. Narayan Bhattarai, College of Engineering
  • Dr. Kathryn Kisska-Schultze, School of Business and Economics

Intellectual Property Award:

  • Dr. Kelly Graves, School of Education
  • Dr. Mitchell Henke, School of Technology

Interdisciplinary Team Award:

  • The NSF Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials, Dr. Jagannathan Sankar, director
  • The Economic Geography of Water and Agricultural Resources, Dr. Mark Burkey, director.
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