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Two UAB College of Arts and Sciences professors recognized for research efforts by NSF CAREER Awards

  • March 16, 2022
Researchers in UAB’s Departments of Physics and Biology have been awarded distinguished research grants by the National Science Foundation.

Chien InsideCheng-Chien Chen, Ph.D., 
Photography: Lexi Coon
Two professors from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s College of Arts and Sciences were recognized by the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program, the CAREER Awards.

Cheng-Chien Chen, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Physics, and Stacy Krueger-Hadfield, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Biology, are 2022 CAREER Award recipients.

Chen was awarded a five-year, $450,000 NSF CAREER award that will fund his research into predicting, characterizing and discovering new superconducting materials. His main research goal is to provide a fundamental theoretical understanding to guide experiments in characterizing and discovering new materials that become superconducting at higher temperatures when exposed to intense light or high pressures. The research will offer opportunities to revolutionize the industries of energy, transportation and information technology.

rep nsf career skh 550pxStacy Krueger-Hadfield, Ph.D.,
Photography: Lexi Coon
Krueger-Hadfield received a five-year, $1 million-plus NSF CAREER award that will expand understanding of the diversity of life by linking predictions about life cycles and reproductive variation. Understanding the convergence of these two fundamental organismal traits — its life cycle and how it reproduces — is crucial for predicting how species are likely to respond to environmental change. Common garden experiments and DNA analyses of a widespread seaweed will allow Krueger-Hadfield and her students to explore these connections, while a monthlong field course for undergraduates in which students learn about algae in marine and freshwater ecosystems will further support research.

The CAREER Award is the National Science Foundation’s most distinguished award. It supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research and education within the context of the mission of their organization. Selection for the CAREER Award includes two criteria: innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and community service demonstrated through scientific leadership, education or community outreach.

The funding from the CAREER Awards is given out over a five-year period to help the recipients in their research and with additional projects in conjunction with their research.