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Annual Reception
By Carol Lunn (on 9/30/2013 @ 13:48:18, in ORSP Announcements, read 1006 times)
Last week was the annual reception to celebrate our researchers and to honor our research professor award recipients.

The Early Research Professor Award is recognition for persons who hold the rank of Assistant Professor, who have passed their third-year review and who have distinguished themselves in their creative and scholarly activities.

The winner of the 2013 Early Research Professor Award is: Brandon Taravella, Assistant Professor, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Dr. Brandon Taravella joined UNO in the Fall of 2009 as Assistant Professor for Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Prior to that, he was an adjunct instructor since 2005. In his relatively short time at UNO Dr. Taravella has successfully started and enhanced an externally funded research program exceeding 1.2 million in funding. These awards support UNO students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Brandon has also acquired equipment which greatly enhances the Engineering facilities such as a 3D printer and specialized PIV systems for the towing tank. Dr. Taravellaís robotic eel project has resulted in extremely positive public exposure for the College of Engineering and the University of New Orleans. Brandonís eel has been featured on television, in the news, and is on the front of the UNO Magazine. His funding sponsors include ONR, Trinity Marine Products, ATI Defense and the Vietnam Education Foundation. The University Research Professor award is recognition for persons who have achieved the rank of Associate Professor or Professor and who have distinguished themselves in their creative and scholarly activities.

The winner of the 2013 University Research Professor Award is: Steven Rick, Professor of Chemistry Professor Steven Rick joined UNO as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in 2000. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2005 and to Professor in 2010. During his tenure Dr. Rick has created and maintained an active and productive research program with national and international impact.

Dr. Rick has published 51 peer reviewed journal articles. Based on the Science Citation Index, his published work has been cited in scientific literature over 2,500 times, an extraordinary level of impact at his career stage. Dr. Rickís research group focuses on computational methods for understanding the interactions of molecules, including how water interacts with other molecules. These studies provide important information in understanding how proteins fold, which is important for disease treatment, and how new materials behave in the presence of water. In his 12 years at UNO, Steven has served as the chair of the Chemistry Departmentís Graduate Selections Committee and as the department webmaster. He has participated in numerous community outreach programs, providing informal science education opportunities in K-12 schools and other venues. He is an excellent mentor of young scientists and is also involved in the undergraduate research summer program. Dr. Rick has been a successful grant writer who has brought almost 1 million dollars since 2006 as a lead PI. His funding has derived from numerous agencies including the National Science Foundation, Tulane University partnerships, and the Board of Regents.