Fabien Grisé, associate research professor of astronomy and astrophysics, has been selected to receive the 2022 Rustum and Della Roy Innovation in Materials Research Award in the Non-Tenure Faculty and Research Staff category. He is one of seven researchers to receive the award this year.
The award is presented by the Materials Research Institute and recognizes interdisciplinary materials research at Penn State that yields innovative and unexpected results. The award has expanded this year to include four categories: Junior Faculty, Non-Tenure Faculty and Research Staff, Post-Doctoral, and Graduate Student. The award exists thanks to a gift from Della and Rustum Roy, who are both late alumni of Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and long-serving faculty in the college.
Grisé’s research focuses on developing new technology for NASA's future space telescopes, and most specifically on a certain type of optics called gratings that are used to split light into its primary constituents. This is similar to the rainbow effect that can be seen when shining light on the surface of a CD or DVD. Gratings allow astronomy researchers to study and understand the physics at play in stars, galaxies, black holes and more.
“Observing the universe is difficult: celestial objects are located at great distances and are very faint,” Grisé said. “Therefore, astronomy as a discipline has led to the development of new technologies to achieve its goals. Many of those have found their way in our everyday life, such as GPS, medical imaging and sensors for image capture found in cameras.”
This year’s winners were announced at the 2022 Materials Day event in October. The full list of winners includes, in the Junior Faculty category, Aida Ebrahimi, assistant professor of electrical engineering and biomedical engineering, and Amir Sheikhi, assistant professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering (courtesy). In the Non-Tenure Faculty and Research Staff category, the winners include Nicole Wonderling, X-ray scattering manager for the Materials Research Institute (MRI), and Fabien Grisé, associate research professor of astronomy and astrophysics. In the Post-Doctoral category, the winner is Lin Wang, postdoctoral scholar in materials science and engineering, and in the Graduate Student category, the winners include Akhil Dodda, engineering science and mechanics doctoral student, and Kunyan Zhang, doctoral candidate in electrical engineering.