(Photo: Jacob Chinn)
(Photo: Jacob Chinn)

UA Researchers Win Four of Five State Bisgrove Scholar Awards

Four University scientists have received this year’s highly competitive Bisgrove Scholar Awards in support of their excellence in research. Each will receive $200,000 in funding.
Jan. 23, 2017

Science Foundation Arizona, or SFAz, recently announced its 2017 SFAz Bisgrove Scholars Awards, with four of the five state recipients coming from the University of Arizona. UA researchers Michael Marty, Jianqiang Cheng, Luke McGuire and John Schaibley each will receive $200,000 in support of their research.

The Bisgrove Scholars Awards were created by SFAz with support from philanthropist Jerry Bisgrove to attract, support and retain exceptional and innovative new researcher talent in Arizona. The highly competitive prize, now in its sixth year, has awarded more than $4 million to 21 scholars working across the research performing institutions of the state.

"The four Bisgrove Scholars Awards are recognition of the quality of the University of Arizona early career faculty and their potential of their work to drive innovation and economic development for the state of Arizona," said Kimberly Andrews Espy, UA senior vice president for research. "We very much appreciate the support and partnership of Science Foundation Arizona in advancing the economic future and well-being of our state."

  • Marty is an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry. He completed his Ph.D. in chemistry as a Springborn Fellow at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2013, followed by postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford. He joined the UA faculty in 2016. His research applies lipoprotein nanodiscs with mass spectrometry to study membrane proteins and their interactions with lipid bilayers important in the study of fluid and chemicals movements through cells.
  • Cheng is an assistant professor of systems and industrial engineering. He earned his B.S. in mathematics and applied mathematics from Shanghai University in China in 2007, and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Paris-Sud, France, in 2013. Prior to joining the UA, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California. His research interests include large-scale risk analysis (stochastic) programming for network design and energy management systems.
  • McGuire is an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences. He received his B.S. in mathematics from Bucknell University in 2008. After earning his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the UA in 2013, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey Landslide Hazards Program. His research focuses on the geologic surface processes that shape landscapes, with applications to natural hazards such as wildfires — a serious issue for Arizona — and how these events impact landscape evolution.
  • Schaibley is an assistant professor of physics. Schaibley earned his B.S. in physics and mathematics from Purdue University and an M.S. in electrical engineering (optics) and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Michigan. His research focus is on the discovery of new fundamental optoelectronic device physics, and the applications of this physics to information processing and energy harvesting technologies.

The Bisgrove Scholars Awards were created by SFAz, a nonprofit organization established in 2006 to serve as a catalyst for high-wage, knowledge-based job creation and economic diversity through administration and strict oversight of research, development and education grants to public education and other nonprofit research performing institutions.

"Arizona's future is dependent on our ability to attract and foster the most innovative science and engineering minds in Arizona," said William Harris, president and CEO of SFAz. "SFAz Bisgrove Scholars are synonymous with top-tier science and engineering research talent. The program and those selected scholars have the ability to transform their fields of research into direct value not only for Arizona but for all society."