2018 Young Investigator

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Oct. 12, 2017

Peng Zhang receives a prestigious AFOSR 2018 Young Investigator Program Award 

Peng Zhang of the Michigan State University College of Engineering has been awarded a prestigious and selective 2018 Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).

Zhang, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will receivePeng Zhang is the second engineering faculty member in two years to receive an AFOSR YIP Award. $450,000 over three years for “Understanding Ultrafast and Nanoscale Electron Emission and Transport.”

He said his proposed research will develop theoretical models to better understand how electrons emit from a solid surface under ultrafast laser illumination. The research is important to the development of advanced electron sources, compact accelerators and radiation sources, and time resolved electron microscopy.

Zhang joined MSU in 2016. His research interests are in theory and modeling of nanoelectronics, electromagnetic fields and waves, plasmas, and accelerator technology. He is an editorial board member of Scientific Reports. 

Prior to joining MSU, he was an assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan. He received a PhD (2012) and a master’s degree (2010) in nuclear engineering and radiological sciences from the University of Michigan. He also has a master’s degree (2008) in microelectronics and bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronic engineering (2006) from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. 

AFOSR 2018 YIP awarded more than $19 million in grants to 43 scientists and engineers from 37 research institutions and small businesses. The program fosters creative basic research in science and engineering and is open to scientists and engineers at research institutions across the United States who received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in the last five years. This year’s program received more than 285 proposals.

Zhang is the second faculty member in MSU Engineering to receive a Young Investigator Program Award from AFOSR in the past two years. Last year, Mohsen Zayernouri, an assistant professor in MSU’s new Computational Mathematics, Science, & Engineering (CMSE) department, and Mechanical Engineering, was honored.