Notre Dame faculty receive nationally competitive awards

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has recognized three University of Notre Dame faculty members for their excellence in research with Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards. CAREER awards are the NSF’s most prestigious grant available to early-career faculty, and over the past six years, Notre Dame researchers have received more than 40 of these highly competitive awards.

“The University is striving to provide an atmosphere that encourages distinguished and distinctive research to support our faculty’s programs and goals,” said Robert J. Bernhard, vice president for research and professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering. “By receiving this funding, these recipients have shown they are emerging leaders in their respective fields and are models of what it looks like to conduct research at Notre Dame.”

The list of CAREER awardees, who come from the College of Engineering, is as follows:

  • Kyle Doudrick, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, received the award for his project titled, “Catalytic hollow-fiber membranes as an efficient and scalable process in water treatment.” This research aims to develop an innovative water treatment system that uses nanotechnology-based catalysts to help efficiently clean water in a cost-effective way.

  • Amy E. Hixon, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, received a CAREER award for her research, “Molecular-scale behavior of actinide elements at the mineral-water interface.” Hixon and her research group are studying the environmental behavior of the actinide element plutonium, which is important to society because of its use in power generation and national security. The goal is to study the relationships between plutonium concentration, the particle size of a mineral, and the structure of the mineral. Hixon is also working with local high school teachers to develop new teaching materials and she is creating opportunities for Girl Scouts to earn the "Get to Know Nuclear" badge.

  • Dong Wang, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, received his CAREER Award for a project titled, “Towards reliable and optimized data-driven cyber-physical systems using human-centric sensing.” This research focuses on developing data-driven frameworks to address the challenges associated with the nature of data collection by non-scientists.

In addition to the above three awards, 26 faculty from the College of Arts and Letters, College of Engineering and College of Science are actively funded by CAREER Awards from past projects.

The CAREER program, which was established by the NSF in 1995, recognizes and supports outstanding early-career faculty who exhibit a commitment to stimulating research while also providing educational opportunities for students. To learn about the University’s previous CAREER awardees, visit—-career-award/.

Contact: Brandi R. Wampler, research communications specialist, Notre Dame Research,, 574-631-8183; @UNDResearch

Originally published by Brandi Klingerman at on June 26.