Chemist Greg Engel named outstanding early-career scientist

President Obama has named Greg Engel, assistant professor in chemistry at the University of Chicago, among the 100 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

The Presidential Early Career Award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on young professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Engel will receive his award in the fall at a White House ceremony.

"These extraordinarily gifted young scientists and engineers represent the best in the country," President Obama said. "With their talent, creativity, and dedication, I am confident that they will lead their fields in new breakthroughs and discoveries and help us use science and technology to lift up our nation and our world."

The awards, established by President Clinton in February 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected on the basis of two criteria: pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology, and a commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach. Winning scientists and engineers receive up to a five-year research grant to further their study in support of critical government missions. Engel will receive his funding from the Department of Defense.

Engel also is a 2009 Searle Scholar, and the recipient of a new grant from the Air Force's Young Investigator Research Program.