Dr. Shengli Zhou, an assistant professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, was selected to receive one of 67 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) awards presented this year. The PECASE Awards are the nation’s highest honor for professionals at the outset of their scientific research careers. It is the first PECASE award made to a faculty member at the University of Connecticut.
Dr. Zhou was among 15 award recipients nominated by the U.S. Department of Defense; he will receive $200,000 per year for five years to support an expansion of his research aimed at developing a multicarrier acoustic modem with channel- and network-adaptivity for underwater autonomous distributed systems. Dr. Zhou was presented the award during a December 19, 2008 ceremony in Washington, DC presided over by Dr. John H. Marburger III, Science Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
In the fall, Dr. Zhou was selected one of five recipients of the United Technologies Corporation (UTC) Professorship in Engineering Innovation award in the School of Engineering. After earning his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota in 2002, Dr. Zhou joined the University of Connecticut in 2003. He was presented an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program (YIP) last year. The co-director of the UConn Underwater Sensor Network (UWSN) Lab, with Dr. Jun-Hong Cui, Dr. Zhou conducts research involving underwater acoustic communications and networking, multi-user communications, multi-carrier communications, space-time coding, adaptive modulation, and cross-layer designs for wireless systems.
Dr. Zhou said the PECASE funding will allow him to augment his YIP research involving the development of a multicarrier acoustic modem, to enhance the performance and robustness via advanced channel coding, and to equip the modem with a positioning/navigational capability and the ability to accommodate multiple users in distributed networks simultaneously.
In making PECASE selections, nine federal departments and agencies annually nominate scientists and engineers who are at the start of their independent careers and whose work shows exceptional promise for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge.
A December 19 press release issued by the White House announced the awards.