Krogstad receives DOE Early Career Research Award

Jessica Krogstad, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering (MatSE), is one of two Illinois faculty to receive an Early Career Research Program grant from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

MatSE Assistant Professor Jessica Krogstad
MatSE Assistant Professor Jessica Krogstad

“We invest in promising young researchers early in their careers to support lifelong discovery science to fuel the nation’s innovation system,” said Cherry Murray, director of DOE’s Office of Science. “We are proud of the accomplishments these young scientists already have made, and look forward to following their achievements in years to come.”

Under the program, university-based researchers will receive at least $150,000 per year to cover summer salary and research expenses for five years. Krogstad’s award will fund her proposal, “Dynamic, Robust, Radiation-Resistant Ceramics: Harnessing Thermodynamic and Kinetic Driving Forces,” selected by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences.

An Illinois alumna, Krogstad (BS 2007, Materials Science) joined the MatSE faculty in 2014. She received her PhD in materials science and engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2012, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. Her research group studies the relationships between mechanical properties and microstructure across a variety of length scales and time frames.

“We are working to capitalize on thermodynamic and kinetic driving forces that influence morphological and compositional changes in non-equilibrium materials and ultimately dictate material response," Krogstad explained. "We are particularly interested in materials that must survive in extreme conditions—temperature, cyclic loading, corrosion, etc.”

This year, the DOE’s Office of Science has selected 49 scientists from across the nation – including 22 from DOE’s national laboratories and 27 from U.S. universities – to receive significant funding for research as part of DOE’s Early Career Research Program. The effort, now in its seventh year, is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work.

Alison Fout, an assistant professor of chemistry at Illinois also received an Early Career Research Award for her proposal, “Bio-inspired Catalysts Featuring Earth Abundant Metals and Secondary Coordination Sphere Interactions for the Reduction of Oxyanions,” selected by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences.