Two MechE Faculty Win Prestigious Presidential Early Career Awards

Buie and Buonassisi honored with the US government's highest award for young scientists and engineers.

On Thursday, United States President Barack Obama named four MIT faculty among 105 recipients of the 2016 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. The winners will receive their awards at a Washington ceremony this spring.

Those from MIT who were honored were:

  • Tonio Buonassisi, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering;
  • Cullen Buie, associate professor and the Esther and Harold E. Edergton Career Development Chair in the Department of Mechanical Engineering;
  • William Tisdale, assistant professor and the Charles and Hilda Roddey Career Development Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering; and
  • Kay M. Tye, assistant professor and the Whitehead Professorship Chair in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

The following MIT alumni — in addition to Kay Tye '03 — were also recipients:

  • Rebecca Dodder PhD '06
  • Jordan Green PhD '07
  • Jonathan Hopkins '03, SM '07, PhD '10
  • Colin Joye SM '04, PhD '08
  • Kristen Wendell, SM '05
  • Luke Zettlemoyer SM '03, PhD '09

All of the 2016 recipients were employed or funded by the following departments and agencies: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, Department of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, and the Intelligence Community.

These departments and agencies join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions.

The PECASE awards, established by President Bill Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected 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.