Published: May 23, 2013

University of Colorado Boulder faculty member Ivan Smalyukh is among 61 scientists to receive a 2013 Early Career Award from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Smalyukh, an assistant professor of physics and a founding fellow of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, or RASEI, has been awarded $750,000 over five years. RASEI is a joint venture between CU-Boulder and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Smalyukh will use the funding to study the self-assembly of nano-sized particles into colloidal composites, work that may enable cheaper and more efficient renewable energy technologies as well as more energy-efficient displays on consumer devices such as laptops and smart phones.

The DOE’s Early Career Research Program is in its fourth year. This year’s award winners were selected from a pool of about 770 applicants.

“The Early Career Research Program reflects the Administration's strong commitment to creating jobs and new industries through scientific innovation,” said Acting Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. “Strong support of scientists early in their careers is crucial to sustaining America’s scientific workforce and assuring U.S. leadership in discovery and innovation for many years to come.”

Smalyukh has been honored with two other early career awards. In 2009, Smalyukh was also chosen for the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development, or CAREER, award, the agency’s most prestigious award to junior faculty members. And in 2010, Smalyukh was awarded the coveted Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, or PECASE.

Ivan Smalyukh in his lab. Photo by Glenn J. Asakawa/University of Colorado.