Salutes & Awards

February 19, 2016

NASA scientists, engineers receive presidential early career awards

President Obama Feb. 18 named six NASA researchers as recipients of the 2016 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

These recipients, and 100 other federal researchers, will receive their awards in a ceremony later this year in Washington.

The PECASE awards represent the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers who are beginning their research careers. The award recognizes recipients’ exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge, as well as their commitment to community service as demonstrated through professional leadership, education or community outreach.

“These early career scientists and engineers represent some of the best and brightest talent in our agency and our university partners,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “We are delighted to see them win this prestigious award, as their contributions will benefit our nation and advance the scientific frontiers.”

The following 2016 NASA recipients were nominated by the agency’s Science Mission Directorate, and its Offices of the Chief Engineer and Chief Technologist:

* Dr. James Benardini — planetary protection; NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
* Dr. Jin-Woo Han — nanodevices and nanoelectronics; NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.
* Dr. Michele Manuel — self-healing metals; University of Florida, Gainesville
* Dr. Andrew Molthan — cloud microphysics; NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
* Dr. Colleen Mouw — oceanography and public health; Michigan Technological University, Houghton
* Dr. Vikram Shyam — technical innovation in fundamental aeronautics; NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland

The PECASE awards were created to foster innovative developments in science and technology, increase awareness of careers in science and engineering, give recognition to the scientific missions of participating agencies, enhance connections between fundamental research and many of the grand challenges facing the nation, and highlight the importance of science and technology for America’s future. For a complete list of 2016 award winners, visit

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