Shiliang Wu Receives National Faculty Enhancement Award

Shiliang Wu, whose research focuses on atmospheric chemistry, air quality and global environmental change, has been named a winner of the 2010 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award. Wu is an assistant professor of geological and mining engineering and sciences with a joint appointment in civil and environmental engineering at Michigan Technological University,

Given annually by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) in Oak Ridge, Tenn., the award recognizes junior faculty at institutions that belong to the scientific university consortium for their outstanding work in engineering and applied science; life sciences; mathematics and computer science; physical sciences; or policy, management or education.  

“I’m delighted by the award,” said Wu. “I enjoy my research, and I feel the award is saying: ‘You have been doing good work, but we hope and need you to do even better.’”

Vice President for Research David Reed congratulated Wu on the prestigious award. “I believe he is the first successful applicant from Michigan Tech,” Reed said. Wu's work was recognized with a Research Excellence Fund Award from Michigan Tech in 2009.

He also won a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Early Career Award last year, receiving $299,596 from the EPA to investigate the effects of changing land use and land cover on atmospheric chemistry and air quality. He is also co-investigator with a team of Michigan Tech researchers who received $452,000 last fall from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, popularly known as federal stimulus funds. Nancy French, a senior research scientist at the Michigan Tech Research Institute in Ann Arbor, Mich., is principal investigator on that study of the impact of climate change on wildfires and the resulting impact on human health.

Wu was one of Michigan Tech’s first hires in sustainability in the University’s Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative, an interdisciplinary project to attract outstanding faculty across departmental lines, focusing on various research themes.

The ORAU reviewed 114 applications before selecting 30 junior faculty members for this year’s Powe Award.  Each winner receives a $5,000 grant from ORAU that is matched by his or her own institution, for a $10,000 total prize.  The awards are named for ORAU’s councilor from Mississippi State University for 16 years and chair of the consortium’s Council of Sponsoring Institutions prior to his death in 1996. 

ORAU brings major research universities together with national laboratories, government agencies and private industry to leverage their scientific strength. They sponsor the Faculty Enhancement Awards to invest in the future of promising researchers early in their careers.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.