Research & Innovation

Three Stevens Faculty Honored with New NSF CAREER Awards

Jinho Kim, Kathrin Smetana, and Annie Zhang are recognized as exemplary early-career faculty in research and education

Each year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) provides research grants to early-career faculty “who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.” These “CAREER” awards mark an impressive distinguishment, and this year, three faculty in the Schaefer School of Engineering and Science (SES) at Stevens Institute of Technology have been recognized with this honor.

This year’s SES CAREER recipients are Jinho Kim, assistant professor of biomedical engineering; Kathrin Smetana, assistant professor of mathematical sciences; and Annie Xian Zhang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, who enrich the teaching and research atmosphere at Stevens with innovative ideas and a passion for helping students.

With an award of $576,065, Kim has embarked on a five-year study to better understand the “Biomechanics of Tension-Induced Lung Tissue Fracture and Subsequent Pulmonary Air Leak.” In his project, he is studying the biomechanics of how lung tissue can be damaged while on a ventilator and how the ventilation-induced lung injury can be prevented and treated to save lives.

Smetana will use her five-year award of $461,998 to develop “Randomized Multiscale Methods for Heterogeneous Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations.” In this work, she will apply data science methods like randomization to the design and analysis of new multiscale methods for real-life applications such as wind turbine efficiency.

Zhang will use her award of $500,000 to investigate how relative twist angles affect the thermal properties of graphene and provide STEM outreach at Stevens and in the community. In addition to “pushing the thermal modulation limits” of skin-like wearable devices, Zhang’s data could have applications in beyond-silicon electronics and sensors as well as superconducting thermal switches.

“The Schaefer School is grateful to the NSF for providing support to our three CAREER award recipients this year, who are each exceptional scholars and instructors,” said dean Jean Zu. “We will continue to foster an environment where both our new and former CAREER recipients can excel in teaching and research.”