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Two UT Austin Faculty Receive Sloan Research Fellowships

Two UT Austin Faculty Receive Sloan Research Fellowships
Sean Roberts (left) and David Soloveichik have received Sloan Research Fellowships.

Two faculty members from the University of Texas at Austin have received 2020 Sloan Research Fellowships, which honor outstanding early-career scientists in eight fields.

Sean Roberts and David Soloveichik are among the 126 young scholars from across the country selected by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to receive this award. Each recipient will receive a two-year, $75,000 fellowship to further their research.

Roberts, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, is working to develop new coatings for silicon-based solar cells that can improve their performance by reducing energy lost as heat. In a recent paper in Nature Chemistry, he demonstrated another possible approach to boasting solar cell efficiency by pairing silicon with a carbon-based material that allows the panel to harvest more energy from blue light. Roberts has also received the Cottrell Scholars Award (2018) and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2017).

Soloveichik, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, in the Cockrell School of Engineering, focuses on molecular programming — engineering complex molecular systems for synthetic biology, nanotechnology and bioengineering — as well as creating computing models inspired by nature. Recently, he created a chemical oscillator that uses only DNA components, demonstrating that DNA alone is capable of complex behavior. His team published their findings in Science. Soloveichik received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2017.

Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded in close coordination with the scientific community. Candidates must be nominated by their fellow scientists and winners are selected by independent panels of senior scholars on the basis of a candidate's research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become a leader in his or her field. Nearly 1000 researchers are nominated each year for 126 fellowship slots.

"To receive a Sloan Research Fellowship is to be told by your fellow scientists that you stand out among your peers," says Adam F. Falk, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. "A Sloan Research Fellow is someone whose drive, creativity, and insight makes them a researcher to watch."

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Saturday, 26 September 2020

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