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Photo of Panjak Lal.

Presidential Early Career Award

President Barack Obama named Earth and Environmental Studies Professor Pankaj Lal as one of 102 researchers in the country deserving of the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on federally funded science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their careers.

In announcing the awards in January, Obama said, “These innovators are working to help keep the United States on the cutting edge, showing that federal investments in science lead to advancements that expand our knowledge of the world around us and contribute to our economy.”

“It is extremely gratifying to get presidential validation of the research I am undertaking and an absolute honor,” says Lal, who is also the associate director of the PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies. “Personally, it gives me added confidence to continue on with my sustainable energy and resources research, which is one of the grand challenges facing modern society. Being awarded for what I enjoy doing is really awesome.”

Lal was nominated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has funded his collaborative, interdisciplinary research that contributes to the development of forest- and agriculture-based biofuel development as a fossil fuel alternative in Southern rural communities.

These innovators are working to help keep the United States on the cutting edge, showing that federal investments in science lead to advancements that expand our knowledge of the world around us and contribute to our economy.”

President Barack Obama