Young engineer wins highest government honor

Patrick  Hopkins (Engr ’04, ’08) Dan Addison

UVA mechanical and aerospace engineering professor Patrick  Hopkins (Engr ’04, ’08) is one of 105 recipients of the 2016 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest U.S. government honor for young science and engineering academics.

The award comes with a five-year, $1 million research grant funded by the Department of Defense. Hopkins, 34, who studies heat transfer, has also participated in the Office of Naval Research’s Young Investigator Program and was nominated for the award by his program manager.

Hopkins says he will use the grant to help increase the energy efficiency of the naval fleet by researching how various materials exchange heat with each other on an atomic level. He says he’s looking to develop new methods and materials that could be incorporated into future vessel systems and design.

If the Navy has more-efficient electronic devices—such as radar and other sensing components—submarines and ships will consume less fuel, cost less to run and possibly fail less often, he says.

“This grant gives me the opportunity to explore directions that otherwise I wouldn’t be able to explore. I still don’t think it’s sunk in.”

Larycia Hawkins joins Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture

Larycia Hawkins Dan Addison

Larycia Hawkins, a political science scholar who studies the intersection of race, religion and politics, has joined the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture as the Abd el-Kader Visiting Faculty Fellow.

Last December, Hawkins, who says she is Christian, was placed on leave from her tenured professorship at evangelical Wheaton College after saying that Muslims and Christians worship the same God and wearing a hijab in solidarity with Muslim women.

Hawkins and Wheaton later parted ways.

Hawkins will work on the IASC’s Pluralism Project and Race, Faith, and Culture Project while continuing her research on the reproductive politics of Tea Party women and on the politics of Chicago’s black Catholic parishes.

She will also continue to explore “embodied solidarity,” which she defines as “walking with.” It’s less about thinking and more about doing—putting your own body in an uncomfortable position to suffer along with the oppressed. “The more we see one another, the more we can see our common humanity,” she says.

University appoints two new deans

The University of Virginia Library and the UVA School of Architecture have each appointed a new dean. John Unsworth will start as University librarian June 25, and Ila Berman will assume her new role at the A-School August 15.

Ila Berman

Currently a tenured full professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo as well as a principal of Scaleshift design in Toronto, Ila Berman will arrive at the University of Virginia with a distinguished resumé.

She looks to build on the renowned architecture school’s excellence.

Berman sees architecture as a global practice. “At Waterloo, we have a cooperative education program in which our students alternate between work terms and being in school. They’re working all over the world,” she says. “I always believe that travel—seeing cities, and seeing architecture and landscape firsthand—is critical for your education. This also attracted me to UVA, because the school is doing a lot of work all over the world.”

She envisions four main areas of concentration: New technologies, environmental issues, urbanization and globalization. “Some of these are things UVA does incredibly well, and it’s about building on that,” she says.

Berman is the fourth successive woman to be named dean of the A-School.

John Unsworth

The original University of Virginia library was located inside the Rotunda. While its location has changed, the library is still of central importance at UVA.

It’s fitting, then, that the newly appointed dean of libraries and University librarian, John Unsworth, values the recognition of the library’s past, present and future—as a former Cavalier who also served as the first director of UVA’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities. One of Unsworth’s areas of expertise is the digital realm, which he’ll use to help advance the library’s initiatives.

Currently serving as the vice provost, university librarian, chief information officer and professor of English at Brandeis University, Unsworth (Grad ’88) earned his doctorate at UVA and later taught in the English department. He says he looks forward to his return to Charlottesville. “I told the provost that I was looking for a university that understood the central importance of a library to the research and teaching enterprise,” Unsworth says. “And Virginia understands that.”