CAREER award is one of “the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.”
Camden’s award includes a 5-year $600,000 grant to support his research and educational activities. “The CAREER recognizes the potential of our research to be transformative and to integrate our research mission with education. This award will have a major impact on our efforts and it is a privilege for which I am very grateful.” Camden said.
Funding from this award will be used to develop surface nonlinear spectroscopy as an analytical method for probing the two-photon properties of molecules, surface adsorbate structure, and ultrasensitive detection. Camden group will pursue detailed comparisons between experiment and theory. “This work is fundamental in that it explores how molecules adsorbed on nanoparticles scatter light, and it provides much needed experiments for the benchmarking of new theoretical methods of calculating nonlinear molecular properties.” Camden added, “It also has the potential to impact a wide range of practical applications such as catalysis and renewable energy production.”
In addition to the scientific endeavor, Camden group seeks to increase the number of high-school students pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors in college. In collaboration with Debbie Sayers, a Chemistry Teacher at Hardin Valley Academy, Camden and his group will provide curricular enrichment to local public high-schools through the creation of ASPIRE teams (Aspiring Scientists Participating in Research and Education). ASPIRE teams will deliver hands-on laboratory experiments to local high school classrooms once a month during the regular school year, for a total of six activities.