College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

CBE’s Panthani receives prestigious Air Force research award; one of three at ISU

Dr. Matthew Panthani
Dr. Matthew Panthani

Department Chemical and Biological Engineering professor Dr. Matthew Panthani has become one of a select group of researchers nationwide to be awarded a grant through The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator Program (YIP).

Panthani, an assistant professor and Herbert R. Stiles Faculty Fellow, had his project, “Group IV Quantum Dots for Integrated afosr-logo-jpg-psPhotonics,” selected as one of 58 to receive funding, from more than 230 submissions. In addition to Panthani, professors Soumik Sarkar and Travis Sippel of Iowa State’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, also received the prestigious award. Iowa State is one of only a few institutions with more than one researcher receiving the award.

Panthani’s proposed research aims to develop materials for a new type of telecommunications technology called integrated photonics. The technology uses light instead of electricity to transfer data on a chip, improving the speed and efficiency of telecommunications. The improved efficiency means the chips will produce less heat during operation, allowing for less thermal management and a more compact and lightweight design. It is seen as a method for improving several Air Force capabilities, such as airborne space surveillance, communication and computational capabilities.

The 58 researchers are from 41 institutions, with a total of $20.8 million in grant funding awarded. The YIP 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 and who show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research. The objective of the program is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering.

A full Air Force news release, with all recipients listed, can be found here.