Jenny Yang, UCI assistant professor of chemistry, has received a 2017 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists & Engineers, the U.S. government’s highest honor for science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. The president bestows the grants each year to encourage federally funded researchers to help advance the nation’s technological goals, solve major problems and contribute to the American economy. “I am honored to have been selected by President Barack Obama for this award,” said Yang, whose work is backed by the Department of Energy. “Our nation is facing critical technological and environmental challenges, and I hope there will be continued support from the federal government for my colleagues and I to pursue innovative scientific solutions. Such funding is vital to maintaining America’s premier standing on the cutting edge of science and technology.” Research in Yang’s lab centers on developing efficient and inexpensive metal catalysts to produce carbon-neutral fuels and feedstock chemicals using renewable energy. More than 100 scientists and engineers will accept their awards in a White House ceremony later this year.