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Two Rensselaer Alumni Honored as Presidential Early Career Award Winners

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Media Relations media@rpi.edu

August 22, 2012

Two Rensselaer Alumni Honored as Presidential Early Career Award Winners

Two Rensselaer graduates have been honored as recipients of the national Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. Jeffrey W. Banks earned a doctorate in applied mathematics from Rensselaer in 2006, as well as both a master of science and a bachelor of science in mathematics from Rensselaer in 2002. Christopher A. Mattson earned a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer in 2003.

The Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers, according to an announcement issued by the White House.

The White House announcement stated that the awards embody the high priority the Obama Administration places on producing outstanding scientists and engineers to advance the nation’s goals, tackle grand challenges, and contribute to the American economy. The recipients are employed or funded by the following departments and agencies: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, Department of Veteran Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation. These organizations join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s pre-eminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions.

Banks, who works at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, was honored for his work in computational physics, science computation, and numerical analysis, according to an announcement from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science.

The National Science Foundation honored Mattson for “innovative research to enable product design for sustainable poverty alleviation, and for dedication toward establishing Third World outreach and learning experiences for engineering students.” Mattson is now an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Brigham Young University.

“We are thrilled that Jeffrey Banks and Christopher Mattson have been honored for their early achievements,” said Jeffrey Schanz, Rensselaer assistant vice president for alumni relations. “We wish them warm congratulations on this recognition and continued future success.”

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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.