Kelly Stephani portrait
Alumna Kelly Stephani was selected to receive a Presidential Early Career award for Scientists and Engineers for 2019, the highest honor given by the United States government to scientists and engineers beginning their research careers. Photo credit L. Brian Stauffer

Kelly Stephani, M.S. ASE 2006, Ph.D. ASE 2012, was selected to receive a Presidential Early Career award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for 2019. The PECASE is the highest honor given by the United States government to scientists and engineers beginning their research careers.

Stephani, who was co-advised by Professors David Goldstein and Philip Varghese of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics while pursuing her graduate studies, is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is also affiliated with the Illinois Department of Aerospace Engineering.

According to a news release published by Illinois, Stephani is the leader of the Computational Kinetics Group, which utilizes simulation of molecular dynamics for improved modeling of nonequilibrium and noncontinuum flows, fundamental transport processes, and material response within multiscale, multiphysics systems.

Her research interests include hypersonics and high-temperature aerothermodynamics; surface chemistry and plasma-surface interactions; kinetic methods for non-equilibrium reacting flows; kinetic theory and transport processes; and fluid mechanics & thermal sciences.

Stephani is also a recipient of the AFOSR Young Investigator Award and the NASA Early Career Faculty Award.