Chemical engineering's Laird receives NSF CAREER Award

Dr. Carl Laird, assistant professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, has been awarded a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF).Dr. Carl LairdAs a recipient of the prestigious award, Laird will receive $400,000 throughout the next five years for his research, which will utilize cutting-edge computing technology to aid in the design and operation of facilities for emergency drug production.In the United States alone, Laird said, there have been significant drug shortages as a result of insufficient production capacity. Such shortages have underscored an increasing need for facilities that can be quickly reconfigured to provide production of specific therapeutics in the event of an emergency.Laird, who completed his undergraduate career at the University of Alberta, earned his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University in 2006.At Texas A&M, Laird focuses on large-scale nonlinear optimization, parameter estimation, and parallel computing. He continues to work on developing algorithms as part of an early warning contaminant detection system in municipal drinking water networks. He also is involved in the modeling and optimization of infectious diseases, working to determine the fundamental driving forces affecting the spread of infectious disease.The CAREER Award was established to support junior faculty within the context of their overall career development, combining in a single program the support of research and education of the highest quality and in the broadest sense. Through this program, the NSF emphasizes the importance on the early development of academic careers dedicated to stimulating the discovery process in which the excitement of research is enhanced by inspired teaching and enthusiastic learning.Written by Ryan Garcia,