The Catholic University of America

March 27, 2008

CUA Professor Earns Prestigious National Science Foundation Grant

$400,000 Award Recognizes Early Career Work in Nanotechnology

John Judge

John Judge, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in CUA's School of Engineering, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program award to study vibration of collections of micromechanical and nanomechanical devices. The award makes him the third member of the engineering school to receive the award in the last two years.

The five-year grant, totaling $409,287, funds detection and study of very small differences between micro-and nano-scale devices that are supposedly identical, and how the differences affect the way the larger system that houses those devices vibrates.

Many applications of such systems, including filters for electrical signals in cell phones and collections of sensors for detecting biological and chemical agents, depend on vibration propagating freely across the system. However, small variations among seemingly identical pieces of the larger system can disrupt the way energy disperses and can prevent the systems from operating as intended.

Judge will construct prototypes of micro- and nano-scale systems, some with the variations among individual components intentionally exaggerated by known amounts, and use laser vibrometry to measure their vibration. The grant will help fund the construction of a new experimental station at CUA to perform laser vibrometry through a microscope.

The NSF CAREER award seeks to honor young scientists whose activities best integrate the realms of research and education, building the basis for long-term contributions to their fields. It is considered the foundation's most prestigious award in early career development.

"Dr. Judge has demonstrated outstanding talent both in the classroom and in his research, and this award clearly recognizes his work," said Charles Nguyen, dean of engineering. "Judge has earned a place among a team of cutting-edge scientists, and we are proud to have him among our junior faculty."

Judge's award follows last year's CAREER grant awardees, Lu Sun, associate professor of civil engineering, and Otto Wilson, assistant professor of biomedical engineering.

MEDIA: For more information, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy at 202-319-5600.

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