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Updated 10:00 AM July 27, 2009
 

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Electrical engineering professor awarded presidential honor

Electromagnetics researcher Anthony Grbic is one of 100 scientists and engineers across the nation who will be honored this year with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).
(Photo courtesy Anthony Grbic)

Grbic, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science, will receive his award at a White House ceremony this fall.

The PECASE is the highest honor the United States government gives to young professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Winners receive up to a five-year research grant to further their study in support of critical government missions, according to a White House statement. Grbic will receive a total of $1 million from the Department of Defense over the next five years.

"It is a great honor to have been selected," Grbic says. "The award will provide my research group with even greater research freedom and opportunities to pursue topics in the field of metamaterials. This research area is rather new and a lot of fundamental work remains."

Metamaterials are man-made composite materials with tailored electromagnetic properties. Grbic has worked to create a type of metamaterial called a near-field plate, which focuses light waves to points much smaller than their wavelengths. Such focus could lead to higher-resolution microscopes and other probing devices, improved wireless power transfer and better, smaller antennas, among other advances.

"Much of the credit for this award goes to my graduate students — a fun, creative and hardworking bunch of researchers," Grbic says.

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