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Mercedeh Khajavikhan receives the University of Central Florida Reach for the Stars Award

28 April 2017

Mercedeh Khajavikhan | Image Courtesy of UCF
Mercedeh Khajavikhan

SPIE Member Mercedeh Khajavikhan, an assistant professor in CREOL, the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers, one of the research centers in the College of Optics & Photonics at the University of Central Florida (UCF), was one of five professors in UCF community to be awarded this year’s Reach for the Stars Award. Khajavikhan and her fellow recipients were recognized 5 April as part of the 2017 Founders’ Day celebration.

Determined by the president of the university, the UCF Reach for the Stars Award honors and rewards highly successful research and creative activity accomplished by early-career university professionals. Each honoree receives a $10,000 annual research grant for three years.

This is not the first time Khajavikhan has been honored during UCF’s Founders Day celebrations. In 2016 she received the Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award (College Level). Among the many reasons Khajavikhan was selected for this year's distinction, she teaches at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, and helped build the college’s new bachelor’s degree in photonic science and engineering. Khajavikhan has received more than $1.5 million in research grants as principal investigator, a National Science Foundation CAREER award, and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator award.

Her research has been published in 22 peer-reviewed journals and more than 40 conference papers, and she has delivered 20 invited talks, including publishing and presenting with the Society. She is scheduled to speak this August at SPIE Optics + Photonics about her research on active parity-time symmetric systems as part of the Nanoscience and Engineering Conference.

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