Physics and Astronomy Faculty Earn NSF Early CAREER Awards |


Assistant Professors Cyrus Dreyer and Assistant Professor Navid Vafaei-Najafabadi to Receive Over $1 Million in Grants

Stony Brook University Assistant Professors Cyrus Dreyer and Navid Vafaei-Najafabadi, in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the College of Arts and Sciences, have received Early Career Awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This award is given to a promising young faculty member, both as a researcher and as an educator. As Early CAREER recipients, Dreyer and his Vafaei-Najafabadi will collectively receive more than $1 million in grants to support research.

Cyrus Dryer

Recipients of the NSF Early CAREER Award are distinguished as emerging professionals who are poised to advance their department’s mission. Both Dreyer and Vafaei-Najafabadi explore unique scientific phenomena in their studies at Stoney His Brooke. The goal of their project is to revolutionize the field of research towards applications that benefit science and society.

Dreyer studies ubiquitous defects in materials, such as ‘point defects’, or misplaced atoms that improve or impede the functioning of electronic devices. Existing computational techniques for studying point defects are known to be largely inaccurate. Professor Dreyer’s project aims to develop and implement new computational methods that use a process called “embedding” to greatly improve computational accuracy. Embedding combines traditional techniques with advanced theory to properly convey the meaning of a particular point defect. This research has the potential to bring unprecedented innovation to the development of future electronic devices, including quantum computers. Dreyer also holds joint positions with the Flatiron Institute.

Vafaei-Najafabadi’s work is concerned with particle acceleration and plasma physics, where new methods of accelerating particles to extreme energies are being developed for the next generation of high-energy physics research. He collaborates with researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and his research is made possible by the Accelerator Test Facility’s unique high-power laser and electron beam facilities. Professor Vafaei-Najafabadi’s Early CAREER Award grant not only supports his cutting-edge research, but also establishes a mathematics and physics program for Stony Brook’s undergraduates, especially for underrepresented minorities help you to This initiative will help students build the foundation they need to excel in graduate plasma physics.

navid nsf
Navid Vafay Najafabadi

The funds received through NSF’s Early Career Awards will enable Dreyer and Vafaei-Najafabadi, and all awardees, to more efficiently advance the division’s mission.

“Winning an Early CAREER award is a defining moment in a Junior Faculty’s career, as it signifies highly selective recognition not only of the recipient’s achievements, but also of their future potential.” said Chang Kee Jung, Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy. “Thus, it is heartwarming to see Cyrus and Navid receive the award. , is also a great citizen of the Faculty and University.The Department of Physics and Astronomy is blessed not only with Cyrus and Navid, but also with other great Junior Faculty members.”

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity to serve as academic role models in research and teaching and to support early-career faculty who have the potential to lead the advancement of research. , the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious award. Departmental or organizational mission. The activities pursued by early-career faculty must lay a solid foundation for lifelong leadership in integrating teaching and research.



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