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Civil Engineering's Dr. Xu Liang named 2014 Carnegie Science Award winner in Environmental category

PITTSBURGH (January 30, 2014) … Xu Liang, PhD , Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was one of three faculty members at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering announced as winners of the Carnegie Science Center's 2014 Carnegie Science Awards , sponsored by Eaton. Dr. Liang captured the Environmental category.  The program honors awardees from more than 20 categories, including Corporate Innovation, Emerging Female Scientist, Entrepreneur, Leadership in STEM Education, and others. These individuals and companies have distinguished themselves by making unparalleled contributions to science and technology in various disciplines.

Dr. Liang's fundamental research interests include: (1) to discover and reveal fundamental laws that govern water and energy cycles, and (2) to investigate how the water and energy cycles affect the health of our environment and ecological systems, and how they influence the transport and cyclings of nutrients and pollutants at different scales, such as at local, regional, continental, and global scales. She is also interested in research topics leading to improving accuracies on weather forecasts, droughts and floods, and on climate studies; scaling and data assimilation using in situ and remotely sensed measurements; impacts of climate change on diseases re-occurrences and re-distributions, and on sustainable water resources and environment; and applications of emerging information technology for sustainable ecological system and water resources management.

Dr. Liang's recent work includes eco-hydrology, hydro-informatics with machine learning methods, cyber-infrastructure for earth science, data assimilation, land surface modeling, and applications of sensors and wireless sensor network for environmental, ecological, and hydrological systems.

The other Swanson School recipients include:
Honorable Mention: University / Post-Secondary Educator- Steven Abramowitch, PhD , Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, Musculoskeletal Research Center, and Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences

Honorable Mention: Start-Up Entrepreneur - William J. Federspiel, PhD , William K. Whiteford Professor of Bioengineering and Professor of Chemical Engineering and Critical Care Medicine

In addition to the annual slate of recipients, this year the Science Center is conferring its highest commendation, the Chairman's Award, on Jared L. Cohon, former president of Carnegie Mellon University, and Mark A. Nordenberg, chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh.

"These two individuals have had an unparalleled impact on our region's scientific vitality," said Ann Metzger, the Henry Buhl Jr. Co-director of Carnegie Science Center. "As concurrent leaders of two great local universities, President Cohon and Chancellor Nordenberg forged an unprecedented relationship of mutual respect and collaboration, which has helped open the door to a new era of scientific exploration, entrepreneurial strength, and academic excellence in Pittsburgh."

Carnegie Science Center established the Carnegie Science Awards program in 1997 to recognize and promote outstanding science and technology achievements in western Pennsylvania. Celebrating its 18th year, the Carnegie Science Awards have honored the accomplishments of more than 400 individuals and organizations that have improved lives through their commitment and contributions in science and technology.

"The Carnegie Science Awards spotlight some of the most innovative minds today," said Ron Baillie, the Henry Buhl Jr. Co-director of Carnegie Science Center. "These individuals are making a global impact starting with our own region. We know they are already inspiring a new generation of leaders. One of our central missions is to promote education in science, technology, engineering, and math - or STEM. The Carnegie Science Awards winners exemplify the highest levels of success in STEM fields and in STEM education. We are proud to recognize these outstanding awardees and look forward to their continued contributions."

"Eaton has supported the Carnegie Science Awards through a premier sponsorship for the past 11 years and has seen remarkable leaders and organizations recognized for their contributions to science, technology, engineering, and math," said Mark Horner, senior manager, Global Communications, Electrical Sector, Eaton. "We congratulate Carnegie Science Center, and all of the winners and nominees, for their commitment to discovery, innovation, and education."

Awardees will be honored during a formal celebration at Carnegie Music Hall on Friday, May 9, 2014. Three student winners, who will be selected at the Science Center's 75th annual Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair, also will be recognized.

About Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center's goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh's premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs.

About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. Annually, the museums reach more than 1.2 million people through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.