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Clarkson Professor Receives $375,000 Career Award From National Science Foundation

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Clarkson University Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Maria del Mar Lopez has been awarded a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  lopez

Lopez’s $375,000, five-year grant will enable her to continue an investigation of the use of non-traditional materials for new structures as well as for repair and retrofit of existing infrastructure such as bridges, and to integrate her research into the education of emerging civil engineers.

“Winning this award is a clear indication of Maria’s stature as one of the brightest faculty prospects in engineering across the country,” said Clarkson Provost Tony Collins.

Created in 1995, the highly competitive CAREER Award is the NSF’s most prestigious honor for junior faculty members. Grants are given to scholars in the early stages of their professional development to assist them in launching successful research and teaching careers in engineering and the sciences. The recipients are faculty members judged most likely to become academic leaders of the 21st century. Previous Clarkson CAREER Award winners include Jerry Yamamuro (1997) and Susan Powers (1995).

“The CAREER program recognizes teacher-scholars like Professor Lopez who show exceptional promise,” said Thomas C. Young, chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “She is the third faculty member from our department to receive a CAREER award, and the first with a specialty in structural engineering. We are extremely proud of her for this outstanding recognition and pleased for the implicit promise it holds for future success.”

By using both the classroom and the laboratory to investigate the behavior of the interface between Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) laminates and concrete, Lopez hopes to help bring these promising new materials into the mainstream of engineering practice, particularly in the area of repair and retrofit of civil structures, and to the attention of a new generation of civil engineers. Lopez also plans to support diversity in engineering through undergraduate summer research linked to the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, which encourages low-income and minority undergraduates to pursue doctoral education and academic research.

Lopez received her doctoral degree in civil engineering from the University of Michigan in 2000 and joined the faculty at Clarkson the same year. 

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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