U Forest Ecologist Wins Prestigious Packard Fellowship
William Anderegg, an assistant professor of biology, has received one of 18 Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for his research on the effects of climate change and drought on forests. Packard Fellows receive a five-year, $875,000 grant to pursue research directions of their choosing. The Packard Foundation requires little paperwork connected to the grant, allowing fellows wide latitude to pursue risky and creative research ideas, dubbed “blue-sky thinking” by the foundation. “I felt honored, thrilled, and surprised all at once,” Anderegg says. “I was pretty overwhelmed by the exciting news.”
Designing More Efficient Electronics
Rodrigo Noriega, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, uses ultrafast laser pulses and his interdisciplinary training to tackle tough problems in energy science. “My scientific interests are at the intersections of chemistry, physics, materials science, and biology – which requires a variety of complementary tools,” says Noriega.
There’s an App for That
Akil Narayan, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, is also a computer scientist who combines his expertise to develop computational tools and software. Recently, Narayan helped biomedical engineers at the U build a simulation codebase for understanding how physiological factors influence the ability of human blood to carry and release oxygen. The codebase used mathematical work that Narayan had developed to understand optimal ways to build computational emulators for physical models.
Physics & Astronomy
Ride the Lightning
John Belz, Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy, became interested in cosmic rays in the late 1990s. “There was an interesting, unsolved problem at that time,” said Belz. “Cosmic rays were observed with energies greater than predicted – something we hadn’t expected to see. Eventually the problem was resolved by Utah’s High Resolution ‘Fly’s Eye’ detector.” The “Fly's Eye” detector was an ultra-high energy cosmic ray observatory located in the west desert of Utah from 1997 to 2006.