Kent State alumnus receives national honor and recognition

Alyssa DeGeorge

Kent State alumnus Ivan Smalyukh was recently awarded the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering.

“It’s a great honor,” Smalyukh said. “I think my research group and myself work very hard to do some interesting new science and I guess it’s a recognition of some of our accomplishments.”

The National Science and Technology Council awards the PECASE to support young professionals.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, “the Presidential Award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.”

Smalyukh earned his Ph.D. in chemical physics from Kent State in 2003, and is now an assistant professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder in the Department of Physics and Liquid Crystal Materials Research Center. He and his research team study soft condensed matter physics.

Smalyukh is also a founding fellow of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute at the university.

He said finding out he won the award was a “fantastic moment.”

“I got very excited,” Smalyukh said. “It was a very great feeling.”

He said the award is encouraging for him and his team and that it will stimulate their future work.

Contact Alyssa DeGeorge at [email protected].