Giti Khodaparast of Blacksburg, assistant professor of physics in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has been awarded $329,831 by the U.S. Air Force to study coherent phenomena and develop concepts for new device functionality using ferromagnetic semiconductors.

Khodaparast is one of 21 scientists and engineers who were awarded a total of $6.3 million in grants over the next three years by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research as part of its new Young Investigator Research Program (YIP). A total of 145 proposals were submitted for the grant program, which targets specific areas of interest to the Air Force. These areas include aerospace and materials sciences, chemistry and life sciences, mathematics and information sciences, and physics and electronics.

Khodaparast’s research will focus on the probing and manipulation of coherent states in ferromagnetic narrow-gap semiconductors with an eye towards developing concepts for new device functionalities.

The YIP supports scientists and engineers who have received Ph.D.s or equivalent degrees in the last five years. Grant recipients must show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research. The objective of the program is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering and enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators.

Khodaparast joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 2004. She earned her Ph.D. in physics at the University of Oklahoma.

The College of Science at Virginia Tech gives students a comprehensive foundation in the scientific method. Outstanding faculty members teach courses and conduct research in biology, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics. The college is dedicated to fostering a research intensive environment and offers programs in many cutting edge areas, including those in nanotechnology, biological sciences, information theory and science, and supports the university’s research initiatives through the Institute for Critical Technologies and Applied Sciences, and the Institute for Biomedical and Public Health Sciences. The College of Science also houses programs in intellectual property law and pre-medicine.

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