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Engineering Professor Recognized with $500,000 National Early Career Award



Jingjing Li, a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa mechanical engineering assistant professor, has received the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Award. One of NSF’s most prestigious awards for junior faculty, it is bestowed on teacher-scholars performing outstanding research and classroom education at the university level.

Li was awarded $500,000 for her project, Surface Interactions in Dissimilar Material Joining. Processes for “joining” methods involving dissimilar metals are in increasing demand, as manufacturers seek creative new structures or components with tailored properties for lightweight vehicles (e.g. assembly of a car body), energy production (e.g. nuclear reactors), consumer devices (e.g. lithium-ion batteries), or next-generation medical products (e.g. surgical tools).

“Dissimilar metals cannot be joined using traditional fusion-based welding methods,” explains Li. “So I am gratified that my research provides much needed understanding to enable wide applications of two joining processes for dissimilar metals. Additionally, this award supports activities to engage students in research; raises their interest in science, technology and engineering; and promotes advanced manufacturing to a broader population.”

Since joining UH Mānoa in fall 2011, Li has received a total of $1.5 million in funding from NSF as a leading principal investigator. Her work has established a unique materials processing program, with a focus on joining of dissimilar materials and forming of lightweight metals, experimental mechanics, and multi-scale materials characterization.

More about Li

She received her bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering from Beihang University in Beijing, China; a master’s degree in materials science and engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing; and a master’s degree in statistics and PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Source: UH News
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