Laurels List

Recent Recognitions for UC Davis Engineering Professors

National Academy of Engineering

Dan Sperling

DAN SPERLING Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Dan Sperling has been elected as a member of the 2022 class of the National Academy of Engineering for leadership and outstanding entrepreneurial contributions in transportation energy, advancing alternative energy policies and promoting government-industry-university collaborations. Sperling directs UC Davis’ Institute for Transportation Studies, and his research interests are in transportation planning and policy analysis and the environmental impact of motor vehicles.

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is an American nonprofit, non-governmental organization. The National Academy of Engineering is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, along with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Research Council (now the program units of NASEM). Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions for engineers.

American Society of Civil Engineers’ James Laurie Prize

John Harvey

JOHN HARVEY Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor John Harvey received the 2022 American Society of Civil Engineers’ James Laurie Prize. Harvey is the Director of the University of California Pavement Research Center (UCPRC) and past chair of the Transportation Technology and Policy graduate group. UCPRC has an ongoing Caltrans-sponsored project (Partnered Pavement Research Center [PPRC]) for research and development of a wide range of pavement technology, and with federal agencies and industry. He teaches concrete and flexible pavement design and rehabilitation, asphalt concrete materials and project management at UC Davis.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is a tax-exempt professional body founded in 1852— the oldest engineering society in the U.S.— to represent members of the civil engineering profession worldwide. Since 1966, the James Laurie Prize has been awarded based on contributions to the advancement of transportation engineering. It is administered by the Transportation and Development Institute through the Honors and Awards Program.

American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International Food Engineering Award

Zhongli Pan

ZHONGLI PAN Biological and Agricultural Engineering Adjunct Professor Zhongli Pan’s research focuses on improving the value and safety of agricultural products and their components through new and improved post-harvest and processing technologies. Pan characterizes the physical, chemical and rheological (tendency to flow) properties of agricultural and food products. He studies infrared heating technology for various food processes, including blanching, peeling, roasting, drying, disinfection and disinfestation. He also uses ultrasonic and pulsed electric field technologies for improving food processing efficiency.

The International Food Engineering Award recognizes food engineers from all over the world who have advanced the application of engineering technology for the food industry and also those who have contributed outstanding leadership, management, or teaching ability to the field.

National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Awards

The following UC Davis engineering professors earned National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Awards (NSF CAREER) - prestigious awards recognizing junior faculty who have the potential to become leaders in their fields.

The award is the agency’s highest honor for young faculty and funds five-year research and education projects that often serve as the foundation for faculty careers.


ROOPALI KUKREJA Materials Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Roopali Kukreja researches the optical manipulation of magnetic materials, complex oxide thin films and heterostructures.

She and her research group use ultrafast lasers and synchrotron-based x-ray techniques to understand and manipulate the evolution of magnetic, electronic and structural properties at femtosecond to nanosecond timescales. These studies will advance the development of new heterostructures for laser-based building blocks in future high-performance computing systems.

Jason Lowe-Power

JASON LOWE-POWER Computer Science Assistant Professor Jason Lowe-Power develops both hardware and software to improve the efficiency and programmability of modern computer systems. As part of the Davis Computer Architecture Research Group, Lowe-Power investigates improving the efficiency and usability of heterogeneous systems, enhancing system security using hardware extensions and developing open-source simulation methodology to support computer architecture research.


SABBIE MILLER Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Sabbie Miller’s research focuses on designing sustainable infrastructure materials and minimizing their environmental impacts. The laboratory is working to develop methods to assess the local, regional and global impacts of materials production, advance alternative material manufacturing and pioneer ways to produce desired properties, such as carbon utilization, in sustainable materials. The team works primarily with cementitious materials, bio-derived materials and polymeric materials.


SEUNG SAE HONG Materials Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Seung Sae Hong works with materials that do not exist in nature: artificially-designed 2D materials. These include electronic and magnetic materials, for which he hopes to understand and harness new properties that emerge at the nanoscale. His research group also explores novel applications based on exotic 2D quantum materials, from smart electronics to renewable energy devices.

This story was featured in the Spring 2022 issue of Engineering Progress.

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