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Lehigh engineering professors honored with significant early career awards

Three Lehigh University engineering professors have been honored recently for early-career contributions to their respective fields of study.

2014 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER awards were granted to Shamim Pakzad, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Mark Snyder, P.C. Rossin and Frank Hook Assistant Professor of the department of chemical engineering.

And just a few days later, Jeetain Mittal, P. C. Rossin Assistant Professor of chemical engineering, was named as a 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Chemistry.

Pakzad's research aims to create an entire class of new methods for understanding how structural systems behave using mobile sensors to collect data. His CAREER project focuses on analytical models and experimental platforms for validation and verification that improve the safety and reliability of highway bridges.

Snyder was recognized by the NSF for his research in assembling and templating nanoporous membranes, or "sieves" that can separate molecules of a specific type out from a mixture of many. Snyder and his students will continue to study ultra-thin, high-flux, and high-selectivity carbon molecular sieve (CMS) membranes that hold promise for transformative improvements in low-energy gas and liquid separations.

According to the NSF, the CAREER Award is its "most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations." Each award provide stable support at the level of approximately $400,000 (or higher) for a five-year period.

Mittal was recognized by the Sloan Foundation for his work in the area of molecular modeling of various biological phenomena such as unfolding of intrinsically disordered proteins, DNA and carbon nanotube interactions and effect of confinement on stability of proteins.

"We believe Jeetain is one of the most prolific and creative young molecular modelers in the chemical sciences today, and we're delighted that his work is being recognized in this manner," says Mayuresh Kothare, R. L. McCann Professor and Chair of chemical engineering.

Awarded annually since 1955, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation statesd that "the fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders."

Key Links:


Jeetain Mittal

Dr. Jeetain Mittal, P.C. Rossin Assistant Professor of chemical engineering


Shamim Pakzad

Dr. Shamim Pakzad, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering


Mark Snyder

Dr. Mark Snyder, P.C. Rossin and Frank Hook Assistant Professor of chemical engineering