Aaswath Raman, associate professor of materials science and engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, has received the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s director’s fellowship award. The honor is given to top performers among the agency’s young faculty award recipients and will extend Raman’s 2021 distinction as such — adding an additional year and $250,000 in funding to his initial $500,000 grant.

Both awards were established to encourage early-career scientists to pursue high-risk, high-reward research that could result in breakthrough technologies that address national security challenges. 

Raman’s project focuses on developing a new solid-state cooling technology, known as electroluminescent cooling, based on light-emitting diodes. This approach could yield highly compact and efficient cooling devices, particularly suited to cryogenic applications including infrared sensors and detectors. Through a range of electronic materials and device advances, along with nanophotonic strategies, Raman and his team will use the additional year of funding to build on their progress and demonstrate proof of concept cooling devices. 

Since joining UCLA in 2018, honors Raman has received include the Materials Research Society Kavli Foundation early career award, the 3M non-tenured faculty award, the National Science Foundation CAREER award and the Sloan Research Fellowship award. In 2022, he was elected a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors.