Debbie Senesky, assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics and, by courtesy, of electrical engineering, was recently awarded the 2018 Emerging Leader Abie Award by AnitaB.org, a nonprofit supporting women in technology. The award honors the life and career of Denice Denton, the first female dean of a school of engineering at a major U.S. research university, and recognizes junior faculty members who have made significant contributions to their field through high-quality research and positive impacts on diversity. Senesky received the award for her innovative research into “tiny-but-tough” electronic devices to help power new ventures in space exploration.
Senesky is the principal investigator of the EXtreme Environment Microsystems Laboratory (XLab), where she and her team investigate tiny electronics for use in space and other high-temperature environments. XLab’s current research focuses on the engineering and analysis of temperature-tolerant, radiation-hardened nanoelectronics made from emerging semiconductor materials such as gallium nitride, silicon carbide and graphene. Her lab continues to make progress in engineering durable and lightweight electronics to enable new space missions such as a high-temperature probe for the surface of Venus.
Senesky has received the Early Career Faculty Award from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and a Sloan PhD Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. She will receive the Emerging Leader Abie Award at the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration this September in Houston.