Cheng receives NSF CAREER award

Feb. 17, 2015 - Assistant Professor Xiang Cheng was recently awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER award for his research on the "Liquid-drop impacts on granular surfaces and the universality in granular impact cratering." The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

The award will support Professor Cheng and his research group in the study of the liquid drop impact dynamics on granular surfaces—a ubiquitous phenomenon that is directly relevant to many environmental, agricultural, and industrial processes. Their research will help formulate better solutions to solve important issues such as reducing soil erosion, increasing water-use efficiency in drip irrigation and improving the quality of spray-coating on rough surfaces. Moreover, the results from the research may further establish a universal link between impact cratering processes of widely different energy scales from low-speed solid sphere impact cratering to asteroid impact cratering and explosion cratering.

Their first paper on the project has been recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. The research has been widely reported by news agencies including the Discovery Channel, Popular Science, CBC news (Canada), SPIEGEL magazine (Germany), and De Kennis van Nu (The Netherlands). The study has also been selected as "Back Scatter" in the March 2015 issue of Physics Today.

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