MAE Professor wins Goodnight Award

Assistant Professor Dr. Landon Grace from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NC State University is one of 25 faculty members who has awarded the 2022 Goodnight Early Career Innovators Award. 

Established in 2021, the Goodnight Early Career Innovators Award is intended to support early career faculty excellence and promote retention of tenure-track assistant professors whose scholarship is in STEM or STEM education. The Provost’s Office oversees the Goodnight Early Career Innovators Award program and the winners receive $22,000 annually for three years to support their scholarship and research endeavors. Previously, MAE Associate Professor Dr. Arun Kumar Kota won the award in 2021 during the award’s first iteration. 

After the award winners were announced Monday, Dr. Grace expressed his appreciation for NC State’s support for it’s faculty in their pursuit of cutting-edge research.

“I’m incredibly honored to be a recipient of the Goodnight Early Career Innovators Award –  the way NC State and this community emphasize and prioritize innovation was one of the biggest factors in my decision to join the faculty here,” Dr. Grace said. “I plan on using the award to continue pushing the envelope with some high-risk, high-reward projects that are too early in their development for traditional funding agencies.”

According to the Provost’s Office, nominees must be tenure-track assistant professors at the time of application. Their scholarship must be clearly and substantively contributing to innovations and advancement in STEM or STEM education. No faculty member may be selected as a recipient more than once.

To be eligible for consideration, outstanding faculty must be nominated by their college. The number of nominations for each participating college has been set based on the number of tenure-track assistant professors in that college. A total of 40 nominees are submitted each year, 12 from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; nine from the College of Engineering; seven from the College of Sciences; six from the College of Veterinary Medicine; two from the College of Education; two from the College of Textiles; and two from the College of Natural Resources – only 25 of which will actually receive the award.

The nominees are first review at the college level by a committee largely made up of distinguished faculty, and those who pass muster are then reviewed once more at the university level. 

All nine of this year’s nominees from the College of Engineering were approved by the university, making  the college one of only two that had all of their nominees selected to win the award, along with the College of Natural Resources. This year, the College of Engineering produced more winning nominees than any other participating college.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners, and thank you for continuing the legacy of excellence at NC State and the College of Engineering. Moreover, thank you to Dr. Grace for representing MAE and continuing to pioneer greatness in his field.