Anca Dragan and Javad Lavaei, Berkeley Engineering professors.  The White House has announced that Anca Dragan (left) and Javad Lavaei are among this year's PECASE recipients.

White House honors engineering faculty with early career awards

July 3, 2019

Berkeley engineering professors Anca Dragan and Javad Lavaei have been awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) this week, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers. President Donald J. Trump made the announcement this week.

  • Anca Dragan is an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences and head of the InterACT Lab, which researches the interaction of robots with people. She was nominated by the National Science Foundation.
  • Javad Lavaei is an associate professor of industrial engineering and operations research. He is applying his expertise in control theory and optimization to energy and efficient power distribution. He was nominated by the Department of Defense.

Alvin Cheung and Barna SahaAlvin Cheung  and Barna SahaDragan and Lavaei are among nine UC Berkeley recipients of this year’s PECASE. This includes newly hired faculty members Alvin Cheung, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, and Barna Saha, an assistant professor of industrial engineering and operations research, have been honored as recipients of PECASE. Cheung and Saha’s appointments began July 1. 

The awards, established by President Bill Clinton in 1996, highlight the key role that the administration plays in encouraging and accelerating American innovation. They recognize those who demonstrate exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology, public education or community outreach.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy coordinates the PECASE with participating federal departments and agencies.

A complete list of recipients is available on the White House website.