Portland State University has awarded its first Faculty Research Excellence Awards to James Pankow, Steve Thorne and Ed Zaron in recognition of the originality, impact and productivity of their research programs.
The Office of Research and Strategic Partnerships established the three new awards this year to highlight faculty research accomplishments and the importance of research to the University’s mission. Each award comes with a $1,500 honorarium.
“There are many great researchers at PSU who are well respected by their colleagues around the country and around the world. We want these awards to help spread the word about their ground-breaking work,” said Jonathan Fink, vice president for Research and Strategic Partnerships. “Their research provides economic, cultural and social benefits to the community, and it provides our students with the cutting-edge information they need to be successful in an increasingly globalized and competitive world.”
Portland State faculty conduct about $60 million in funded research each year, in addition to a variety of unfunded research in areas as diverse as foreign languages and business. Awards were given to a senior faculty member with a rank of professor, a junior tenure-track faculty member with a rank of assistant or associate professor, and a non-tenure track research faculty member.
The senior awardee, James Pankow, (pictured above left) is one of the world’s leading environmental chemists, working on problems of air and water pollution, climate change, and the health effects of tobacco. He is a professor in the Chemistry and Civil and Environmental Engineering departments and is PSU's first homegrown member of the National Academy of Engineering. Last year he received a large grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust to set up PSU's fastest supercomputer.
The junior awardee is Steve Thorne, (pictured right) an applied linguist and associate professor in the Department of World Languages and Literatures. Trained as a classical linguist with expertise in Urdu and Hindi, he has more recently branched into cutting-edge applications like the use of computer games and other technology for second language acquisition. Since coming to PSU in 2010, he has published 25 articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings, and has been equally successful with funding agencies and in the classroom.
Ed Zaron, the research faculty awardee, (pictured left) is a physical oceanographer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering who uses fluid dynamics to model coastal processes. His work on tides has gained national recognition, particularly as it relates to the hazards associated with climate change. His grant writing has been highly successful, with a 70 percent success rate. He collaborates with many of the country’s leading oceanographers.
This year’s award finalists, all nominated by their deans, were: Talya Bauer, Management; Loren Lutzenhiser, Urban Studies and Planning; Raul Caul, Mechanical & Materials Engineering; Andrew Mashburn, Psychology; Robert Scheller, Environmental Science & Management; Lauren Simon, Management; and Nathalie Huguet, Community Health.