UB Exceptional Scholars: Young Investigator Award

Introduced in 2002, this award celebrates a recent superior achievement of a scholar in thier field of study. Such an achievement will have distinguished the recipient as an up-and-coming scholar, as well as earned the individual acclaim for their work, which could be a published work or other scholastic or artistic endeavor.

2019-20 Honorees

Changyou Chen

Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Changyou Chen, PhD, is a rising star in machine learning and deep learning. His research aims to develop models, algorithms and theory for Bayesian machine learning, deep generative models and deep reinforcement learning. He has published more than 45 papers in tier-one conferences since joining UB in 2017. In recognition of his outstanding early contributions, Dr. Chen received a Yahoo Faculty Research and Engagement Award in 2019 and a School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Research Initiation Award in 2018.

Ning Dai

Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

Ning Dai, PhD, is an emerging leader in environmental aquatic chemistry with applications to wastewater reuse and drinking water treatment. Her recent efforts include investigating the formation of nitrogenous disinfection byproducts in wastewater-impacted drinking water plants. A prolific scholar, Dr. Dai has published more than 20 papers in top journals and received numerous speaking invitations, including for a 2019 Gordon Research Conference. She has been awarded over $1.7 million in grants, including a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

David C. Lacy

Department of Chemistry

Recipient of a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award, David Lacy, PhD, is emerging as an exceptional scholar in inorganic chemistry, focused on developing catalysts to enable sustainable chemistry in synthesis and to uncover fundamentally new types of reactions. Since joining UB in 2015, Dr. Lacy has published 14 articles in top tier journals. In 2019, he was invited to publish a forum article for "Emerging Investigators in Inorganic Chemistry" in Inorganic Chemistry, the premier journal in the field.

Mostafa A. Nouh

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Since joining UB in 2015, Mostafa Nouh, PhD, has already gained national and international recognition for his outstanding contributions in acoustic metamaterials for noise sensing and control, wave guidance, and non-reciprocal energy transmission. Among his impressive accomplishments, Dr. Nouh has published 37 peer-reviewed journal papers including a featured article in the Journal of Applied Physics, received numerous national awards including a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and was elected to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Noise Control and Acoustics Division Executive Board.

Jiwei Zhao

Department of Biostatistics

Since joining UB in 2014, Jiwei Zhao, PhD, has already developed a national and international reputation for his contributions in semiparametric theory and methods, nonstandard likelihood theory and methods, semi-supervised statistical learning techniques, and causal inference. He has established himself as a highly valued collaborator, working with colleagues across the health sciences at UB and Roswell Park. In addition, he has served as associate editor for three journals and grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and other agencies.