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Two Caltech professors have been awarded 2023 Sloan Research Fellowships: Alireza Marandi, assistant professor of electrical engineering and applied physics; and Kimberly See, assistant professor of chemistry.
Awarded annually since 1955 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the fellowships "honor extraordinary U.S. and Canadian researchers whose creativity, innovation, and research accomplishments make them stand out as the next generation of leaders," according to the foundation's announcement. This year, the foundation honored 126 early career researchers with fellowships. A total of 156 Caltech researchers have received the awards to date.
Marandi grew up in Iran. A self-described bookworm, he grew up tinkering with electronics and developed an interest in lasers after seeing one in a sci-fi movie as a child. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Tehran, a master's from the University of Victoria, and a doctorate from Stanford University.
At Caltech, Marandi studies how nonlinear photonics, a field of optics, enables a broad range of previously less-explored opportunities for using lasers and light detectors for a variety of purposes, including molecular sensing and computing. Recently, he has been applying photonics to quantum information processing, a field that uses the laws of quantum mechanics for computation. Marandi recently developed a photonic chip that can both "squeeze" light to make it less "noisy" on a quantum level and also measure it, a step toward ultrafast quantum information processors on an integrated photonic circuit.
See grew up in Colorado, which allowed her to explore the outdoors and gain an appreciation for nature and conservation. She earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry from the Colorado School of Mines in 2009 and her PhD in chemistry from UC Santa Barbara in 2014.
See's interest in sustainability led her to focus her research on new battery chemistries that diversify energy-storage options. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop batteries that cost less, store more energy, last longer, and use widely available materials that are less damaging to the environment to obtain.
Her research group is also involved in a number of other ventures, like developing green organic electrosynthesis conditions in the NSF Center for Synthetic Electrochemistry at the University of Utah, and creating liquid fuels from energy derived from the sun in the Liquid Sunlight Alliance, for which Caltech serves as lead institution.
Additionally, several Caltech alumni were named Sloan Fellows this year. They are:
Andrew R. Buller, University of Wisconsin, Madison (former postdoctoral scholar in chemical engineering)
Todd R. Gingrich, Northwestern University (BS '08)
Tod A. Pascal, University of California, San Diego (PhD '10), visiting associate
Alexander S. Wein, University of California, Davis (BS '13)
Javier M. Duarte, University of California, San Diego (MS '15, PhD '17)
Tejaswi Venumadhav Nerella, University of California, Santa Barbara (PhD '16)
Robyn E. Sanderson, University of Pennsylvania (former postdoctoral scholar in theoretical physics)
Leo C. Stein, University of Mississippi (BS '06)