A Nigerian professor in the United States, Prof. Deji Akinwande has
received the 2016 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and
Engineers (PECASE) from President Obama, the United States government’s
highest honor for scientists and engineers in the early stages of
Prof. Akinwande is an associate professor in
electrical and computer engineering and the Jack Kilby/Texas Instruments
Endowed Faculty Fellow in Computer Engineering in the Cockrell School
of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.
Earlier in the year, precisely in February Akinwande was
named by President Barack Obama, as one of the recipients of the 105
recipients of PECASE awards.
He is currently an Associate Professor with the
University of Texas at Austin. The current focus of his research
explores materials and electronic systems based on 2D atomic layers. He
is a co-inventor of a high-frequency chip-to-chip interconnect and an
electrically small antenna for bio-electronics.
Speaking to the newsmen on Monday, Akinwande said he was
awarded by Obama on May 5, 2016, at the White House, where the 105
researchers were hosted.
According to the White House, Akinwande was awarded for
his “outstanding research accomplishments in nanomaterials, graphene
device physics, and opto-electronics, and for dedication to the
education of future scientists and engineers.”
Now in its 20th year, the Presidential Early Career
Awards are coordinated through the President’s Office of Science and
Technology Policy, which selects winners “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.”
Prof. Akinwande is known for his groundbreaking research
on nanomaterials, sensors, devices and flexible technology. He is
considered one of the top researchers in the world in the areas of
graphene, silicon electronics and 2-D nanomaterials for use in flexible
electronics. In 2015, Akinwande created the first transistor out of
silicene, the world’s thinnest silicon material, and he is continuing to
advance the capabilities of computer chips and other electronics.
Prof. Akinwande has been the recipient of several
prestigious awards, including the Inaugural IEEE NANO “Geim and
Novoselov Graphene Prize,” an IEEE Early Career Award in
Nanotechnology, a National Science Foundation Career Award, an Army
Research Office Young Investigator award, and a Young Investigator award
from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
Announcing the winners earlier in the year, Obama said:
“These early-career scientists are leading the way in our efforts to
confront and understand challenges from climate change to our health and
“We congratulate these accomplished individuals and
encourage them to continue to serve as an example of the incredible
promise and ingenuity of the American people.”
According to NUJ Europe Chapter, Akinwande, who grew up in
Opebi Allen in the Ikeja area of Lagos State, left Nigeria as a
teenager in 1994, and his novel idea was aimed at building more energy
efficient electronic chips to make mobile phones last a week or two
According to University of Texas at Austin, Deji
Akinwande received the PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from
Stanford University in 2009, where he conducted research on the
synthesis, device physics, and circuit applications of carbon nanotubes
and graphene. His Master’s research in Applied Physics at Case Western
Reserve University pioneered the design and development of near-field
microwave probe tips for nondestructive imaging and studies of
Prof. Akinwande has been honored with the inaugural IEEE
Nano Geim and Novoselov Graphene Prize, the NSF CAREER award, the Army
and DTRA Young Investigator awards, the 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, and
was a past recipient of fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Alfred P.
Sloan Foundation, and Stanford DARE Initiative. He is one of the
directors of the NASCENT ERC center at UT Austin.
co-authored a textbook on carbon nanotubes and graphene device physics
by Cambridge University Press, 2011. His work on flexible graphene
systems was selected as among the “best of 2012” by the nanotechweb
online technology news portal and has been featured on MIT’s technology
review and other technical media outlets.
Source: Lashley Oladigbolu (NUJ UK)