The Michigan Engineer News Center

Aerospace Alumni Receives Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Congratulations to Michigan Aerospace Alumni Evan Pineda, recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers | Short Read
IMAGE:  Dr. Evan Pineda - 2019 PECASE Award Recipient - NASA Headquarters - Thursday, July 25, 2019 Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

Michigan Aerospace Alumni Evan Pineda, MSE ‘07 PhD ‘12, is among the recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The PECASE is awarded annually to independent researchers by US government agencies including the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and NASA. In addition to recieving funding for five years, Dr. Pineda and the other awardees will be honored at a ceremony in Washington DC. 

Dr. Pineda earned his Masters and PhD at the University of Michigan, where he worked under Dr. Anthony Waas, Richard A. Auhll Department Chair of Aerospace Engineering and Felix Pawlowski Collegiate Professor, at the Composite Structures Laboratory (CSL). At the CSL, Dr. Pineda worked on multiscale failure prediction for composite materials in partnership with NASA’s Glenn Research Center.

Dr. Pineda now works at NASA Glenn, developing multiscale failure analysis codes, for which he has received the PECASE. He remembers his time with Dr. Waas at the CSL for teaching him the “fundamental skills necessary for research.” His work will be applied in the Space Launch System, NASA’s upcoming orbital launch vehicle. 

In addition to the PECASE, Dr. Pineda has received numerous awards for his work including the DESTech Young Composites Researcher Award and NASA Early Career Achievement Medal.   

Portrait of Kim Johnson


Kimberly Johnson
Communications Manager

Aerospace Engineering

(734) 647-4701

3054 FXB

The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read