Sciences Faculty Awarded Sloan Research Fellowships

February 20, 2024

School of Mathematics Assistant Professor Alex Blumenthal and School of Physics Assistant Professor Chunhui (Rita) Du have been selected to receive the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship for 2024. The annual awards from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation honor early-career researchers whose “creativity, innovation, and research accomplishments make them stand out as the next generation of leaders in the fields.” 

In total, four Georgia Tech faculty are among the 126 individuals selected from a pool of over 1,000 North American researchers nominated this year, including Juan-Pablo Correa-Baena of the School of Materials Science and Engineering and Daniel Genkin of the School of Cybersecurity and Privacy

"Sloan Research Fellowships are extraordinarily competitive awards involving the nominations of the most inventive and impactful early-career scientists across the U.S. and Canada,” says Adam F. Falk, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. 

Recipients will receive a two-year $75,000 Fellowship in support of their cutting-edge research. 

“I am thrilled to be a recipient of the Sloan Fellowship this year, and I am thrilled for what can be done with it,” says Blumenthal. “I am immensely grateful for the support of my colleagues and that of SoM at large, without whom this would not have been possible.” 

Blumenthal was also recently awarded an NSF CAREER grant to study chaotic fluid dynamics, one of the most challenging problems in his field. His research focuses on dynamic systems, and their statistical properties.  

Many systems and nature exhibit these seemingly random behaviors — imagine smoke rising from a candle and mixing with the air in a room, or the ripples of cream as they’re swirled into coffee. While extremely difficult to mathematically model and solve, Blumenthal explains that solving these types of problems could lead to innovations ranging from atmospheric modeling and weather predictions, to economics, to creating better salinity profiles in oceans. 

Du is developing quantum sensing and imaging techniques to study quantum materials at very small scales. Quantum materials are a large set of materials that have intriguing, unusual properties, which differ from that of traditional materials.  

“It is my great honor to be elected as a new Sloan Research Fellow in Physics,” Du says. “I appreciate the tremendous support from my colleagues, collaborators, mentors, and team members over my career development. This prestigious grant will support my research on developing state-of-the-art quantum sensing techniques to explore novel quantum materials and electronic devices for next-generation information technology."

She is involved with designing and engineering hybrid quantum devices, which have applications for quantum information. Her research into spintronics is at the forefront of information technology applications. Du was also recently selected for the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program, a distinction given to her for her exceptional potential and creative research. 

Including the 2024 class, 55 Georgia Tech faculty have received Sloan Research Fellowships, among them School of Mathematics faculty Hannah Choi in 2022, Yao Yao in 2020, Konstantin Tikhomirov in 2019, Lutz Warnke in 2018, Zaher Hani in 2016, Jen Hom in 2015, and Greg Blekherman in 2012; along with School of Chemistry's Vinayak Agarwal in 2018, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences' Christopher Reinhard in 2015; and School of Physics’ Tamara Bogdanović in 2013.  

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Written by Selena Langner

Contact: Jess Hunt-Ralston