Drexel University Office of the Provost


Provost Office: News Release

To: The Drexel University Community
From: Ken Blank, Ph.D. Vice Provost for Research
Subject: Materials Science Professor Receives Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
Date: 1 November 2007


Jonathan E. Spanier, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering in the College of Engineering at Drexel University, was honored at a White House ceremony today with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).  The PECASE is the nation’s highest honor for professionals at the outset of their independent research careers.  Spanier is the first assistant professor at Drexel to be selected for this recognition since President Clinton created the program in 1996.

According to John H. Marburger III, the director of the Office of Science & Technology Policy, “Selection for this award is based on the combination of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and community service demonstrated through scientific leadership and community outreach.”  Nominated by the Department of Defense, Spanier is cited for “innovative research in materials science and engineering to improve synthesis strategies to produce novel and advanced hybrid nanostructures with specific properties and multifunctional capabilities,” Spanier is also cited “for his exceptional teaching of graduate and undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds.”

An affiliated faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Spanier received the Ph.D. degree from Columbia University in 2001 in applied physics (condensed matter), working with Irving Herman. Before joining the Drexel faculty in 2003, he completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University with Hongkun Park. He is also a co-director of the A. J. Drexel Nanotechnology Institute. Spanier has held research staff positions at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in physical acoustics and in the semiconductor device industry. Spanier received the U.S. Army Research Office Young Investigator Award in 2004, was elected to Sigma Xi in 2001, and was a Visiting Lecturer at the Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology in 2001. His work is supported by the NSF, the U.S. Army Research Office, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Dr. Spanier is a member of the American Physical Society, American Chemical Society and the Materials Research Society.

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