Tuesday, March 22, 2022

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) has selected the winners of several awards that recognize exceptional researchers, scholars, innovators, students, and administrators, as a part of the annual Discovery and Innovation awards program. Each fall, the OVPR solicits nominations from the campus community for the awards, which include: Scholar of the Year, Early Career Scholar of the Year, Leadership in Research, Graduate Student Excellence, Postdoctoral Scholars, and Excellence in Undergraduate Research, as well as awards that recognize distinguished achievement in communications, public engagement, arts and humanities, mentorship, research administration, research safety, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. This year, OVPR selected four faculty members, one postdoctoral research scholar and two undergraduate students from the College of Engineering as recipients of Discovery and Innovation awards. 

Faculty Awards

Caterina Lamuta Headshot



Caterina Lamuta, Ph.D., assistant professor, mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering was named an Early Career Scholars of the Year. The award honors assistant professors in tenure-track, research-track or clinical-track positions at the UI who are currently involved in research, scholarship and/or creative activity and show promise of making a significant contribution to their field.


Jerry Schnoor Headshot



Jerry Schnoor, Ph.D., Allen S. Henry Chair in Engineering in the College of Engineering’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering was given the Leadership in Research Award. This is a lifetime achievement award recognizing research and scholarly accomplishments over a career.


Ibrahim Demir Headshot



Ibrahim Demir, Ph.D., associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering, was given the Distinguished Achievement in Publicly Engaged Research award. The award recognizes an individual faculty member who has put addressing public needs and direct engagement with the public, in the service of improving quality of life through research, at the forefront of his or her academic activities.


Ed Sander Headshot



Edward Sander, Ph.D., associate professor in the College of Engineering’s Roy J. Carver Department of Biomedical Engineering received the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU) Distinguished Mentor Award. The award honors the work that mentors put in to make their students’ experiences successful.


Postdoc Awards

Headshot of Yen Nguyen



Yen Nguyen, Ph.D., research assistant in the College of Engineering Department of Mechanical Engineering was given a Postdoctoral Research Scholar/Fellow Excellence Award. This award honors postdoctoral research scholar and fellow research performance and scholarly activity that is recognized as highly original work and makes a significant contribution to the field.



Student Awards

Two engineering students received Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduate’s Excellence in Undergraduate Research Awards

Andrew Behrens Headshot
Ben Hinz headshot


Andrew Behrens, a bioengineering major and chemistry minor on the pre-medicine track

Ben Hinz, a biomedical engineering major and french minor on the pre-medicine track