Carnegie Mellon Press Release: May 6, 2004
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Press Release

Chriss Swaney

For immediate release:
May 6, 2004

Carnegie Mellon Faculty Receive Prestigious National Science Foundation Career Awards

PITTSBURGH—Two faculty members at Carnegie Mellon University's Engineering College have won the 2004 National Science Foundation's (NSF) Career Awards. Sridhar Seethharaman, an assistant professor in Materials Science and Engineering, and Philip LeDuc, an assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering, received the awards for successfully integrating technology and research into the classroom.

Seethharaman received a $600,000 grant for the next five years to study the behavior of nonmetallic particles in steel.

"Essentially, this study seeks to help the steel industry make cleaner metals without defects," said Seethharaman, who is already working with several regional U.S. steelmakers to improve the economics of various steel production methods.

LeDuc received a $400,000 grant for the next five years to study the structure inside a living cell. "What I do is look at how cells react to mechanical signals," he said. LeDuc also said that he is trying to dispel the notion that cells are like balloons filled with jelly.

"The cytoskeleton gives cells structure, making them responsive to mechanical stimulation," LeDuc said. His research could ultimately help in the ongoing fight to stem heart disease and cancer.

Both researchers join more than 300 other NSF Career Award winners recognized this year for the prestigious NSF designation. The NSF Career Award grants average between $300,000 and $750,000 and more than 2,000 awards have been made since the program began in 1996, according to the National Science Foundation.

Carnegie Mellon is a private research university with a distinctive mix of programs in engineering, computer science, robotics, the sciences, business, public policy, fine arts and the humanities. More than 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students receive an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions to solve real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation.


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