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Assistant Professor of Engineering Rashid Zia '01 was one of 100 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, who were honored by President Barack Obama on Jan. 13.

This award is given to scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers who have contributed notable scientific research. The honor gives Zia a $1 million grant over a period of five years that Zia plans to use to buy new equipment, support more graduate students and expand his lab's research capabilities, he said.

 Zia said this award is significant not only because it brings attention to his research group, but also because it opens doors for future funding opportunities.

"Our group is getting recognition for the work we do," Zia said.

Zia's current research looks at lanthanide ions, a class of metal ions that is used in light emitters in many technologies, including phosphorescent LEDs, fluorescent lighting, color displays and telecommunications. Zia's project hopes to use the magnetic properties of dipoles to create light sources that are smaller and brighter than current technology.

Recent winners of the award among Brown faculty include Assistant Professor of Physics Anastasia Volovich, Associate Professor of Engineering Pradeep Guduru and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Chad Jenkins.

After graduating from Brown, Zia completed a master's and doctorate at Stanford and returned to Brown in 2006 as a member of the engineering faculty.



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