Professors Recognized for Research

By Anna Lynn Spitzer

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 4, 2009 -- Two UC Irvine Calit2 academic affiliates received prestigious awards recently in their respective fields.

Gian Mario Maggio
Penner and Sorooshian

Chemistry professor Reg Penner, who also directs UCI’s Center for Solar Energy, was named the 2009 Faraday Medal winner by the Electrochemistry Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry. The award, for outstanding accomplishments in electrochemistry, is granted by Europe’s largest organization for advancing the chemical sciences.

Penner’s research focuses on developing new synthetic methods for preparing nanomaterials that can lead to breakthroughs in sensor technology. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter and approximately 70,000 of them are equal to the diameter of a human hair. Penner’s emphasis is on electronic materials, including metals, metal oxides, semiconductors, thermoelectric materials, and electronically conductive polymers, which can be assembled into tiny sensors used in biomedical, environmental and energy applications.

He is a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a winner of the National Science Foundation Award for Special Creativity.

Penner will receive his award, which includes a medal and a monetary prize, at the Electrochem ’09 meeting in September at the University of Manchester, in England, where he will also deliver the plenary lecture.

Soroosh Sorooshian, Distinguished Professor of civil and environmental engineering, and director of the Center for Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing, was selected the 2009 Walter Orr Roberts Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Sciences by the American Meteorological Society.

The award is given for significant contributions to the understanding of atmospheric processes through multidisciplinary research. In naming Sorooshian for the honor, the society said he bridged “the interdisciplinary gap between hydrology, meteorology and remote sensing.”

Sorooshian researches surface hydrology, the implication of climate variability and change in water resources, and how remote sensing data can be use to characterize hydrologic limitations.

He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, and the International Water Resources Association.