Illinois professor Lane Martin earns Presidential Early Career Award

Photo by L. Brian Stauffer | Illinois professor Lane Martin was honored with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer | Illinois professor Lane Martin was honored with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

University of Illinois professor Lane Martin is among the 102 researchers to receive the 2013 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor the U.S. government confers upon young investigators establishing their independent research careers.

Each PECASE recipient will receive up to five years of funding to pursue research avenues of their choice. The winners are recognized for their innovation in science and technology as well as their commitment to education and outreach.

“The impressive achievements of these early-stage scientists and engineers are promising indicators of even greater successes ahead,” President Barack Obama said in a White House statement. “We are grateful for their commitment to generating the scientific and technical advancements that will ensure America’s global leadership for many years to come.”

Martin, a professor of materials science and engineering, is an expert in thin films of oxide materials. He was nominated by the U.S. Department of Defense for his research accomplishments in the synthesis and study of multifunctional materials – including ferroelectrics, magnets and multiferroics – that have enabled the development and understanding of fundamentally new materials phenomena and potential for advanced devices.

Martin plans to use his five-year award to study complex oxide materials’ thermo-electrical properties, focusing on applications for advanced solid-state cooling. He hopes that the PECASE-supported research program will unlock a deeper understanding of the physics and properties of the materials so that they can be manipulated for use in high-performance, next-generation devices.

“The fundamental work in this program will advance America’s ability to synthesize and control complex materials,” Martin said. “The material discoveries and developments made possible through this program will directly impact devices ranging from heat and field sensors, to energy harvesting and efficiency, to solid-state, low-power cooling systems.”

Martin earned his doctorate in materials science and engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2008. He completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory before joining the faculty at Illinois, where he is also affiliated with the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory. He also has received a Faculty Early Career Development award from the National Science Foundation and a Young Investigator Program award from the Army Research Office.