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Honors and Awards

Koray Aydin Receives Prestigious Honor for Young Faculty

Office of Naval Research recognizes exceptional promise for creative research

Koray Aydin, a nanophotonics expert at Northwestern Engineering, has been awarded a prestigious 2017 Young Investigator Program award from the Office of Naval Research, one of the nation’s oldest and most selective scientific research advancement programs.

Koray AydinAydin will receive $510,000 over three years. The awards were given to 34 scientists and engineers who show exceptional promise for creative research across several naval-relevant science and technology areas.

“This great honor recognizes our work at the forefront of nanophotonics,” said Aydin, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the McCormick School of Engineering. “Our work has huge potential to advance technologies relevant to the Navy and Department of Defense. The award will not only support my research program, but it also will bring additional visibility to my research group.”

Aydin’s broad area of research is nanophotonic materials and devices. He is interested in controlling and engineering the way light interacts with materials at the nanoscale. Aydin’s research group designs and realizes nanoscale materials that have the potential to enable more efficient solar cells, highly sensitive biosensors and ultrathin and compact optical components. 

The Office of Naval Research award specifically will support Aydin’s research focused on the design of dynamic optical components that adapt to their environment. These ultra-thin optical components combine 2-D materials with metallic and dielectric metasurfaces. Aydin and his group will investigate novel optical components whose properties can be tuned and controlled with an external stimulus such as optical, electronic or thermal stimulation.