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2015 Research and Creative Achievement—Professional Promise

Research and Creative Achievement — Professional Promise awards honor faculty members who are early in their careers for excellence in research, scholarship, and creative achievement.

Katy Chiles

Katy ChilesKaty Chiles, associate professor of English, is a young scholar who is already making huge strides. Several of her first articles were published in highly acclaimed journals, including PMLA and American Literature. A peer said, “For a beginning scholar to have articles appear in these journals is highly unusual, and it speaks to the significance of her research and scholarship.” Chiles specializes in African American literature, early American literature, Native American studies, and critical race theory. Her most recent achievement is her book Transformable Race: Surprising Metamorphoses in the Literature of Early America.

 Joshua Emery

Joshua EmeryJoshua Emery, assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences, is a highly productive researcher who has published extensively and attracted significant external funding. He’s also a committed mentor to graduate students. In the past five years, he has published forty-three peer-reviewed journal articles, with five articles and three book chapters currently in review. Emery now has ten active research grants, including a prestigious NASA New Frontiers grant for the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission. A peer said, “Joshua has established himself as a research leader at UT and in the NASA funding community.”

Lawrence Heilbronn

Lawrence HeilbronnSince joining UT in 2008, Lawrence Heilbronn, associate professor of nuclear engineering, has received national and international recognition for his work in nuclear measurement related to space radiation research. His work has impacted the fields of particle radiotherapy, shielding, and transport code development. He’s also conducted collaborative research in Japan, Taiwan, Sweden, and Canada. His close ties with the experimental and theory community have earned him a place as the experimental principal investigator on a four-year $6-million joint theory-experiment research project that has the potential to save NASA millions on its next generation of manned missions.

Erik Zinser

Erik ZinserErik Zinser, associate professor of microbiology, has earned a place among the elite young scientists in his field by obtaining highly competitive National Science Foundation grants and publishing high-quality work. His research focuses on the abundant photosynthetic prokaryote Prochlorococcus, which is responsible for a substantial part of global ocean photosynthesis. Zinser’s research knows no borders, and his international reputation is exemplified by being co-chief scientist on several NSF-sponsored oceanic research cruises, as well as invitations to chair panels at international meetings and his selection as an NSF grant review panelist.