2017 GW OVPR Faculty Award Recipients

Distinguished Researcher Award

Michael Keidar
A. James Clark Professor of Engineering

Michael Keidar's research focuses on advanced spacecraft propulsion, plasma-based nanotechnology and plasma medicine. He has authored more than 200 journal articles and authored the textbook Plasma Engineering: Applications from Aerospace to Bio and Nanotechnology (Elsevier, March 2013). In 2016 he was selected as Engineer of the Year by the National Capital Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and in 2017 he received the AIAA 2017 Engineer of the Year Award for his work on micropropulsion resulting in the successful launch of a nanosatellite with thrusters developed by his laboratory. Physics of Plasmas recognized his 2001 paper on plasma flow and plasma–wall transition in a Hall thruster channel as one of its most cited papers in the 50 years of its publishing. Dr. Keidar is one of the pioneers of plasma medicine, his research led to development of the cold plasma scalpel, which is used to treat cancer. Many of his papers have been featured on the cover of high-impact journals and his research has been covered by various media outlets. Dr. Keidar serves as an AIP Advances academic editor, as associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Radiation and Plasma Medical Sciences and is a member of the editorial board of a half dozen other journals. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and an Associate Fellow of the AIAA.

Distinguished Scholar Award

Ilana Feldman
Professor of Anthropology, History, and International Affairs

A specialist in the Middle East, Ilana Feldman’s research has focused on the Palestinian experience, both inside and outside of historic Palestine, examining practices of government, humanitarianism, policing, displacement, and citizenship. Her scholarship has been supported by grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In addition to numerous articles in leading journals in anthropology, Middle East studies, and refugee studies, Professor Feldman is the author of Governing Gaza: Bureaucracy, Authority, and the Work of Rule, 1917-67 (Duke University Press, 2008)  and Police Encounters: Security and Surveillance in Gaza under Egyptian Rule (Stanford University Press, 2015); and co-editor (with Miriam Ticktin) of In the Name of Humanity: The Government of Threat and Care (Duke University Press, 2010). Her current book project, Life Lived in Relief: Palestinian Refugee Experiences with Humanitarianism, explores the Palestinian refugee experience with  humanitarian aid in the years since 1948. This book explores the dynamics of long-term humanitarianism and the politics of living in the humanitarian condition.

Early Career Researcher Award

Volker J. Sorger
Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the Orthogonal Physics Enabled Nanophotonics (OPEN) Laboratory

Volker J. Sorger is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the director of the Orthogonal Physics Enabled Nanophotonics (OPEN) lab at the George Washington University. He received his PhD from the University of California Berkeley. His research areas include opto-electronic devices, plasmonics and nanophotonics, including novel materials. Amongst his breakthroughs are the first demonstrations of a plasmon laser (Nature 2009, Nature Mat. 2011), sub-wavelength scale waveguides (Nature Phot. 2008; Nature Comm., 2011), ENZ and unity-strong index modulation in Transparent Conductive (Nanophot. 2012; Laser Phot. Rev. 2015), the first sub-volt plasmon electro-optic modulator (IEEE STQE 2017), optical FFT on-chip (2017), hybrid-plasmon all-optical plasmon router (2017), and image symmetry detection via spiking neuromorphic networks (2017). Dr. Sorger has received multiple awards including the Intel graduate award (2007), SPIE BACUS scholarship (2009), MRS Gold award (2011), AFOSR Young Investigator award (2014), Outstanding Young Researcher Award at GW (2016), and the Hegarty Innovation Prize (2016). Dr. Sorger is the executive co-chair for technical group development at The Optical Society (OSA), and member of the Board-of-Meetings at OSA and SPIE. He is the editor-in-chief for the journal Nanophotonics, CTO of BitGrid LLC, and member of IEEE, OSA, SPIE, and MRS. He is the founder of the photonic-materials subcommittee at the Integrated Photonics Research conference, and served on a task force of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI).

Early Career Scholar Award

Caitlin Talmadge
Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs

Caitlin Talmadge studies international relations with a focus on international security. Her areas of specialization include civil-military relations, military effectiveness, nuclear strategy, and U.S. defense policy, particularly as it pertains to the Persian Gulf and Asia. Dr. Talmadge is author of The Dictator’s Army: Battlefield Effectiveness in Authoritarian Regimes (Cornell University Press, 2015), which won the Best Book Award from the International Security Studies Section of the International Studies Association, and was also named to Foreign Affairs’ Best Books of 2016 list. Dr. Talmadge is also co-author of U.S. Defense Politics: the Origins of Security Policy, now in its third edition (Routledge, 2017). She is currently writing a book on the problem of nuclear escalation in conventional wars. Her other writings have appeared in International SecuritySecurity StudiesThe Journal of Conflict ResolutionThe Non-Proliferation ReviewThe Washington QuarterlyThe New York Times, and The Washington Post, among other outlets. Dr. Talmadge’s research has received funding from the Olin Institute at Harvard University, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Brookings Institution, the American Political Science Association, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Minerva Initiative at the Department of Defense, and the Stanton Foundation. She also serves an editorial board member of the Journal of Strategic Studies and the International Security Studies Forum of H-Diplo, the largest online scholarly network of its kind in her field. Previously Dr. Talmadge worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and as a consultant to the Office of Net Assessment at the Pentagon.