Brown University Assistant Professor Anita Shukla has been chosen as one of 85 of the nation’s brightest early-career engineers and will take part in the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) 26th annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering (USFOE) symposium. Engineers who are performing exceptional research and technical work in a variety of disciplines will come together for the two-and-a-half day event next February. The participants - from industry, academia, and government - were nominated by fellow engineers or organizations.
Shukla’s Laboratory for Designer Biomaterials develops smart materials aimed at addressing a range of biomedical challenges. Her research includes designing responsive and targeted biomaterials for applications in drug delivery and regenerative medicine. She has done considerable work in developing new antimicrobial drug delivery systems in the form of hydrogels, thin films and nano- and micro-particles, as well as microbial sensors that can detect the presence of harmful bacteria before infections occur.
Shukla was recently awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER award, as well as receiving a Brown University Early Career Research Achievement Award. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is the National Science Foundation's most prestigious award “in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.” Last year, Shukla was tabbed a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE), the nation’s highest award for scientists and engineers in the early stages of their research careers.
She has also been the recipient of several national and university honors and awards for both research and teaching in her career, including an Office of Naval Research Director of Research Early Career Grant and a Brown University Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and a Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship.
Prior to arriving at Brown, Shukla was an NIH Ruth Kirschstein postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Bioengineering at Rice University. She received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011 as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. Shukla also received an M.S. in chemical engineering practice from MIT, after earning her B.S. at Carnegie Mellon University in 2006 with majors in chemical engineering and biomedical engineering.
The 2020 USFOE was originally scheduled to be hosted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado in September; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting has been rescheduled for February 25-27, 2021, and will be held at the National Academies’ Beckman Center in Irvine, California. The symposium will cover cutting-edge developments in four areas: Food for Thought: The AgRevolution Shaping What We (Will) Eat; Next-generation Energy Systems Integration; Engineering Innovation in Women’s Health; Plastics: Pollutions Challenges and Innovations.
“The Frontiers of Engineering program brings together a talented group of young engineers from different technical areas to spark innovation and facilitate long-term collaborations,” said NAE President John L. Anderson. “These relationships are critical in developing creative engineering solutions to the world’s problems.”