Five faculty receive Young Investigator Program awards

Author: Brandi Klingerman

Computer parts in the Radiation Research Computer Lab

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the Office of Naval Research recognized five University of Notre Dame scientists and engineers with Young Investigator Program (YIP) awards for 2016.

The YIP Award was created to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for these researchers. It is a highly competitive grant program, attracting top researchers from across the country. In 2016, the AFOSR received more than 265 proposals and awarded $20.6 million in grants to 56 researchers, while the Office of Naval Research provided $25 million in awards to 47 scientists within 34 different academic institutions.

Associate Vice President for Research and Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Richard E. Billo said, “I am impressed by this year’s award recipients and excited that their abilities have been recognized by the Young Investigator Program. It is evident that the Air Force and the Navy understand the role research plays in helping others and, through our award recipients, they are supporting Notre Dame Research in its mission to be a powerful means for doing good in the world.”

Matthew H. McCloskey Dean of the College of Engineering Peter Kilpatrick said, “Our research programs are critically tied to our Catholic mission. This class of distinguished young investigators is not only making huge strides in their laboratories in relation to global challenges, they are also making an impact in their classrooms, inspiring undergraduates to make a difference in their own communities and in the world.”

This year’s YIP Awardees are as follows:

  • Jonathan Hauenstein, associate professor of applied and computational mathematics and statistics, won an ONR YIP Award for his project titled, “Harnessing the Complex Numbers for Efficiently Solving Real Problems.” Hauenstein joined the faculty in 2015.
  • Thomas Juliano, assistant professor in aerospace and mechanical engineering, joined the University in 2014. He received his award from the AFOSR for his project, “Plasma-Actuated Flow Control of Hypersonic Crossflow-Induced Boundary-Layer Transition in a Quiet Tunnel.”
  • Tijana Milenkovic, assistant professor in the department of computer science and engineering, won her grant from AFOSR for her research project titled, “Efficient Comparison of Multiple Complex Networks.” She became a member of the Notre Dame faculty in 2010.
  • David Richter, assistant professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering and earth sciences as well as concurrent assistant professor in the department of aerospace and mechanical engineering, received his YIP Award from ONR. His research project is titled, “Fate, transport, and feedback of spray and aerosols in the marine atmospheric boundary layer.” Richter became a faculty member in 2013.
  • Laurel Riek, Clare Boothe Luce assistant professor of computer science and engineering, joined the faculty in 2011. Riek received the YIP award from AFOSR for her project titled, “Trust Affordances in Human-Automation Teaming.”

Additionally, Laura Kloepper, a Saint Mary’s College assistant professor of biology, also received a YIP award from ONR. Kloepper’s project is called “Biologically Inspired Approaches to Overcome Mutual-Interference by Active Sensor Systems.”

Contact: Brandi R. Klingerman, communications specialist, Notre Dame Research, 574-631-8183,

Originally published by Brandi Klingerman at on April 14, 2016.