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UM scientists receive awards

A University of Mississippi faculty member is the recipient of a highly prestigious award from the International Conference on Computational and Experimental Engineering and Sciences. Arunachalam Rajendran, chair and professor of mechanical engineering, was presented ICCES’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization’s 2011 annual meeting in Nanjing, China.

He was honored for his research in “Impact Behaviors of Advanced Materials and Structures.”

Rajendran is the first in his field to receive this award, which recognizes his sustained and significant contributions in the forms of research, teaching and community service. Rajendran is among only six people in the world, including three in the United States, to receive the honor, which is not given every year.

Born and raised in India, Rajendran earned his doctorate from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering at the University of Washington. Before joining the UM faculty in 2008, he served as chief scientist for the Engineering Sciences Directorate in the U.S. Army Research Office; a team leader at the Army Research Laboratory in Maryland, a mechanical engineer at the Army Materials Technology Laboratory in Massachusetts and a group leader and associate research engineer at the University of Dayton Research Institute in Ohio.

Other honors and awards Rajendran has received during his 23-year career include ICCES’ Professor Eric Reissner Medal, the Army’s Research & Development Achievement Award, the Wohlleben/Hochwalt Award and Martin/Marietta’s Manned Space Systems Award.

Rajendran also was active in Tamil Nadu Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Maryland, and successfully executed several charitable projects as TNF president. These included “Computers-on-Wheels,” which promotes computer education among rural high school students in India. He was recognized for his leadership for this project – both in the United States and India – through the “Outstanding Non-Resident Indian” award given by the Intellectual Forum of India.

He is a member of the American Physical Society, an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Army Research Laboratory.

In a separate item, Ikhlas A. Khan, assistant director of the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi, has received the 2010 Nutrition Business Journal’s Education Award for his significant education and training contributions in the field of dietary supplements.

Khan, also director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Excellence in Botanicals at UM, is a nationally and internationally recognized proponent of using analytical fingerprinting to standardize herbal products and using bio-analytical approaches to improve their quality and safety.

Khan’s other awards include the 2010 American Herbal Products Association Herbal Insight Award, 2009 Norman R. Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award and 2009 FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation.

Khan has served on advisory boards or expert panels of the AHPA, U.S. Pharmacopoeia, Women’s Health and Asian Traditional Medicine, Missouri Botanical Garden, American Botanical Council, AOAC International Dietary Supplement Task Force and Health Canada’s Natural Health Directorate. He also has more than 400 original research articles, publications or reviews to his credit.

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