Chun Ning (Jeanie) Lau, an associate professor of physics at the University of California, Riverside, received a 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010, at a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.
President Barack Obama greeted Lau and the other 99 recipients of the PECASE, the highest award bestowed by the U.S. Government upon scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent careers. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy selected the awardees.
"The whole experience was marvelous, from the tour of the White House, to the formal PECASE ceremony, to meeting other PECASE winners as well as the directors and policy makers of various federal funding agencies," Lau said. "I was excited and delighted to meet President Obama - he is even more charismatic in person! It was also reassuring to hear from him his commitment to investment in the scientific enterprise and securing American leadership in science and technology."
Lau is the first PECASE winner at UCR. In 2008 she received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, enabling her to experimentally investigate the electrical properties of graphene coupled to normal and superconducting electrodes. Besides graphene, Lau studies nanowires and carbon nanotubes. Her other research interests include superconductivity, thermal management and electronic transport in nanostructures, and engineering new classes of nanoscale devices.