Friday, October 19, 2012

We are very happy to announce that Tiffany Shaw, assistant professor of earth and environmental science, has been awarded a Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering.  Shaw, who has a joint appointment in the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics (APAM), is one of 16 early carreer faculty researchers selected to recieve an unrestricted grant of $875,000 over five years to pursue science and engineering research with limited reporting requirements.  Awardees are selected for their creativity, leadership and innovation and the fellowship is intended to further their promising research and to encourage their efforts to train future scientists.

Shaw is a physicist who studies the fluid dynamics of Earth’s weather and climate using a combination of theory, observations and numerical models. Her research focuses on understanding how moisture is transported and how it interacts with large-scale flow patterns, such as the summer monsoon, and the impact of climate change.

Early exposure to flying planes (she is the third generation in her family to hold a pilot’s license) sparked Shaw's interest in the atmosphere. An aptitude for math and physics bolstered her thinking about storms and the processes driving weather, and eventually led to her pursuit of a Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Toronto.

The Packard Fellowship program was established in 1988 and arose out of David Packard's commitment to strengthen university-based science and engineering programs in recognition that the success of the Hewlett-Packard Company, which he cofounded, derived in large measure from the research and development in university laboratories.  Each year, the presidents of the 50 universities that participate in the Packard Fellowship program may nominate 2 early-career professors from their institutions, who are engaged in research in the natural and physical sciences or engineering, and must be within the first three years of their faculty careers. Packard Fellows are then selected by an advisory panel of 12 nationally-recognized scientists and engineers, and approved by the Packard Foundation Board of Trustees.

Weather-in-a-tank apparatus.

Shaw joined our department, APAM, and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Fall 2011, and recieved the James R. Holton Junior Scientist Award, one of the premier early career awards in atmospheric sciences, at AGU’s annual meeting the following December.  Shaw is the second professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences to recieve a Packard Fellowship, following Professor Adam Sobel, who was selected a Packard Fellow in 2000.

For more details on the weather-in-a-tank apparatus (at left), see the APAM feature below.

Related Stories:

2012 Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering Awarded to Sixteen Researchers - Packard Foundation Press Release

Applied Mathematics Professor Tiffany Shaw Named Packard Fellow - Columbia Engineering News