MSUToday
Published: Oct. 13, 2017

MSU engineering professor receives award from U.S. Air Force

Contact(s): Patricia Mroczek College of Engineering office: (517) 432-1303 mroczekp@egr.msu.edu, Andy Henion Media Communications office: (517) 355-3294 cell: (517) 281-6949 Andy.Henion@cabs.msu.edu

Peng Zhang, an assistant professor at Michigan State University’s College of Engineering, has been awarded the 2018 Young Investigator Program Award from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

Zhang will receive $450,000 over three years for his research to develop theoretical models to better understand how electrons emit from a solid surface under ultrafast laser illumination. The research is important to the development of advanced electron sources, compact accelerators and radiation sources and time resolved electron microscopy.        

Zhang joined MSU in 2016. His research interests are in theory and modeling of nanoelectronics, electromagnetic fields and waves, plasmas and accelerator technology. He is an editorial board member of the journal Scientific Reports.

The Air Force awarded more than $19 million in grants to 43 scientists and engineers from 37 research institutions and small businesses.

The program fosters creative basic research in science and engineering and is open to scientists and engineers at research institutions across the United States who received doctorate or equivalent degrees in the last five years. This year’s program received more than 285 proposals.

Zhang’s project is called “Understanding Ultrafast and Nanoscale Electron Emission and Transport.”

He is the second faculty member in MSU Engineering to receive a Young Investigator Program Award from the Air Force in the past two years.

Last year, Mohsen Zayernouri, an assistant professor in MSU’s new Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering department and Mechanical Engineering, was honored.   

Peng Zhang, an assistant professor at Michigan State University's College of Engineering.

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