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Dr Hai Li receives 2013 DARPA Young Faculty Award

PITTSBURGH  (May 8, 2013) ...  Hai (Helen) Li, PhD , assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, was named the 2013 recipient of the DARPA Young Faculty Award. Dr. Li's winning proposal was "An Adaptive Information Processing System Resilient to Device Variations and Noises."

The objective of DARPA's Young Faculty Award (YFA) program is to identify and engage rising research stars in junior faculty positions at U.S. academic institutions and expose them to Defense Department needs and DARPA's program development process. The YFA program provides funding, mentoring, and industry and DoD contacts to these faculty members early in their careers to develop their research ideas in the context of DoD needs. The program focuses on untenured faculty, emphasizing those without prior DARPA funding. The long-term goal of YFA is to develop the next generation of academic scientists, engineers, and mathematicians in key disciplines who will focus a significant portion of their career on DoD and National Security issues.

YFA was initiated as a DARPA program in 2006. Technical areas of interest included electronics, photonics, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), architectures, and algorithms. The program was expanded in 2009 and again in 2010 to address additional DARPA core research areas. Current YFA efforts are 2 years in duration with approximately $150,000 per year for projects. Each YFA is assigned a DARPA program manager who is closely aligned with their technical interests. A highlight of YFA is DARPA-sponsored military visits. All YFA recipients are expected to participate in one or more military site visits or exercises to help them better understand DoD.

In its relatively short history, YFA has funded nearly 100 up-and-coming junior faculty members, many of whom have also become engaged with DARPA and DoD in other programs.

This is Dr. Li's second national recognition in as many years. In 2012 she received a CAREER Award, the National Science Foundation's top accolade for junior faculty who stand to assume significant leadership roles in their fields.


Contact: Paul Kovach