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Cindy Regal, Matt Squires, Wen Li, and Ian Coddington Win Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers

Published: 07-24-2012
Source: JILA Scientific Communications

Cindy Regal.

Fellow Cindy Regal,  recent JILA grad Matthew Squires (Anderson group, Ph.D. 2008),  former postdoc Wen Li (Kapteyn/Murnane group), and JILA grad Ian Coddington (Cornell group, Ph. D. 2004) have received prestigeous Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, according to a White House press release issued July 23. Each award is for $1 million over 5 years.

Regal was honored for her "discovery of pairing and condensation in a Fermi gas of atoms and broad contributions to the realization of laser-cooled nano-mechanical resonators.” She was also cited for her service as a mentor and role model for women in physics and for her numerous guest lectures to both domestic and international audiences. Her award was funded by the Department of Defense.

Li's and Squires' awards were also funded by the Department of Defense. Li is assistant professor of chemistry at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He uses ultrafast lasers to investigate the motion of nuclei and electrons during chemical reactions. Squires is a member of the Air Force Research Laboratory, Department of the Air Force and works at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Coddington, a physicist in NIST's Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division, was cited for developing spectroscopic measurement tools based on optical fibers and frequency combs. These tools enable accurate detection of airborne chemicals and long distance measurements with nanometer precision. He was also feted for his contributions to early child development and science enrichment programs.

Award recipients are employed or funded by the following departments and agencies: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, Department of Veteran Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation.

The departments and agencies join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies’ missions.

The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach.

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