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ECE's Jacob receives DARPA Young Faculty Award

Zubin Jacob, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, is the recipient of the 2017 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award.
Zubin Jacob, recipient of the 2017 DARPA Young Faculty Award.

Jacob’s research includes fundamental studies of heat transfer, experiments on engineered thermal materials and explorations of non-equilibrium quantum phenomena, as well as work in microelectronics and nanotechnology.

Jacob gives significant credit to the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering for receiving this honor. “My colleagues, who work at the quantum limits of engineering, have been a constant source of inspiration for many of the high-risk, high gain ideas being pursued in my group,” Jacob said.

The DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA) recognizes rising research stars in junior faculty positions and introduces them to Department of Defense needs. “My entire team felt very honored because DARPA has a long legacy of real world impact. DARPA has been the stimulant behind many of the technological innovations of our era, from launching the internet to self-driving cars,“ Jacob said.

The YFA program provides funding, mentoring and industry and DoD contacts to awardees so they will develop research ideas relevant to DoD needs. The program focuses on untenured faculty without prior DARPA funding in order to develop the next generation of academic scientists, engineers and mathematicians who will focus a significant portion of their careers on DoD and national security issues.

“This award will help to significantly advance my research program,” Jacob said. “Currently my group engages in theory, fabrication and large-scale computation, as well as experiments. This is a very unique approach that requires significant resources.” Jacob, who earned his Ph.D from Purdue in 2010, remembers his graduate student days as “one of the most creative times of my education as a scientist. To be back in the same stimulating environment is a great experience.“