Dr. Chang-Hwan Choi Honored with Prestigious Young Investigator Award




   Story by Schaefer School of Engineering & Science

April 7, 2010

Dr. Chang-Hwan choiProfessor Chang-Hwan Choi of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology was named as a recipient of the 2010 Young Investigator Program (YIP) award by the Office of Naval Research (ONR). YIP invests in academic scientists and engineers who show exceptional promise for creative study.

"We are proud of this group of young outstanding scientists and engineers," said ONR's Director of Research Dr. Michael Kassner. "Through their great work in the science and engineering fields, the recipients have raised the bar for excellence in research."

Research Highlight

Dr. Choi was selected by the ONR thanks in large part to his efforts in efficient anti-corrosion surfaces that can enhance the durability and functionality of the U.S. Navy's aluminum based vessels.

His research entitled, "Nano-Engineering of Superhydrophobic Surfaces for Light Metal Anti-Corrosion," explores a new and more efficient corrosion protection mechanism based on nano-engineering of surface superhydrophobicity for light metals.

"The understanding and engineering of the optimal surface nano-topography and chemistry for robust de-wetting stability and anti-corrosion functionality can make superhydrophobic surfaces effective and practical solutions for many naval applications. In addition to an anti-corrosive capability, nano-engineered superhydrophobic surfaces that minimize the water contact with the surface equipped with optimized de-wetting stability can provide additional benefit for anti-biofouling and hydrodynamic drag reduction, offering truly energy-efficient multi-functional applicability for naval systems. Beyond naval applications, the multi-functional superhydrophobic surface materials engineered with greater robustness and durability will have a potential to influence a broader spectrum of technology issues from energy to civil infrastructure to medical devices." - Dr. Chang-Hwan Choi

With current estimates indicating the U.S. Navy spends approximately 10-12 billion in corrosion protection annually, his work is vitally important to advances in our marine capabilities.

Research performed at Stevens as part of the YIP program along with an additional DARPA grant will be supported by the "Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP)." Dr. Choi was awarded DURIP funding for a new state-of-the-art physical vapor deposition system that facilitates thin film growth, deposition, and prototyping which enable production of anti-corrosion materials.

Significant Impact

"ONR's recognition of Dr. Choi's exceptional research and promising future is an indication of the growing impact that Stevens is having in the world of multi-scale engineering. We are especially proud of his achievements and are honored to see the ever-growing number of faculty distinctions within the Institute." - Dr. Constantin Chassapis, Deputy Dean, School of Engineering & Science and Department Director, Mechanical Engineering

The winners of the YIP award were chosen based on "a comprehensive evaluation that includes the applicant's past performance, a creative research proposal and a long-term commitment from the recipient's university."

With more than 200 applicants, Dr. Choi is one of 17 researchers from prestigious universities across the country to receive this award and Stevens congratulates his outstanding accomplishments.

About the Young Investigator Program

YIP winners must have earned a doctorate or equivalent degree within the past five years and show exceptional promise for conducting innovative research. Started in 1985, the program seeks to attract outstanding professors at higher education institutions to the Department of the Navy's research program, support their research and encourage their teaching and research careers.

"We support these researchers with the hope that they will become lifelong research contributors," said Dr. William Lukens, program manager for YIP. "ONR is hugely invested in these individuals and often continues to support their research after their YIP experience through core program funding."

To learn more, check out the Young Investigators Program page and visit the Research Enterprise website.


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