Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Honored with Colorado State University’s 2012 Scholarship Impact Award

Note to Reporters: A photo of Carmen Menoni is available with the news release at http://www.news.colostate.edu.

Colorado State University’s Carmen Menoni, internationally recognized for her research in optics and laser science, has been honored with the Scholarship Impact Award, one of the university’s most prestigious honors.

Menoni, a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Chemistry and the School of Biomedical Engineering, was presented with the award Tuesday at Celebrate! Colorado State activities.

The Scholarship Impact Award, bestowed by the Office of the Vice President for Research, recognizes outstanding faculty whose scholarship has had a major impact nationally and/or internationally. The award includes $10,000 and a plaque of recognition.

“Dr. Menoni’s leadership as an educator and researcher has garnered much recognition for Colorado State University around the world. Her funding success is phenomenal, and she serves as a role model and mentor for women in engineering and science,” said Bill Farland, vice president for Research.

Since joining Colorado State, Menoni has established a vibrant research program in two important areas of optical and laser science. She is a leader in the use of bright beams of extreme ultraviolet laser light that are used to demonstrate novel nanoscale table-top microscopies. She has also established world-leading research in optical materials. Her contributions either as the principal investigator or co-principal investigator have resulted in more than $45 million in federal funding to Colorado State.

Menoni is a founding member of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology led by University Distinguished Professor Jorge Rocca. The center is based at Colorado State and is a joint collaboration with the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of California at Berkeley.

Menoni has pioneered the use of pencil-like bright beams of extreme ultraviolet laser light to demonstrate novel nanoscale resolution microscopes. In October 2008, R&D Magazine recognized one of these tabletop microscopes developed by Menoni and her team of CSU and Berkeley researchers as one of the Top 100 most significant technological advances for that year. The microscope can see objects more than 1,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, and take pictures of the nanostructures with a single laser flash.

More recently, Menoni and collaborators from the Chemistry and Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology departments have demonstrated a scanning microscope that produce chemical composition of organic and inorganic biological materials with nanoscale resolution. These projects have attracted collaborations with scientists in the United States and abroad, and with industry.

Menoni is the director of the Advanced Thin Film Laboratory at CSU. She serves as the only principal investigator on a multi-year grant from the Office of Naval Research and the Department of Defense Joint Technology Office that has received more than $6 million in funding over the last seven years. Menoni’s group is the only research team at a United States academic institution with the expertise and capability to grow and characterize thin film interference structures, a critical technology for power scaling of high power lasers.

For her technical contributions, she has received the distinction of being named a Fellow of three professional societies: Optical Society of America, American Physical Society and Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. For three consecutive years, Menoni was selected by two of these organizations as an “influential scientist in optics and lasers.”

Menoni’s work is published in 200 archival journal and proceedings papers and has been presented in many invited papers at national and international conferences. She has been successful in nurturing collaborations with industry. For her efforts in technology transfer, she received the Colorado Technology Transfer Award in 1998 and 2001.

Menoni is an outstanding mentor to students, a recognized teacher, and an influential role model to female students studying laser science, physics and engineering. She is passionate about teaching optics and lasers and has developed courses and workshops for a broad audience that includes K-12 students and middle school teachers.