Awards & Accolades

Awards & Accolades

By University Communications
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Xubin Zeng
Xubin Zeng
Jim Schwiegerling holds his Innovation Leader of the Year award, presented at the Southern Arizona Tech + Business Expo on Oct. 6.
Jim Schwiegerling holds his Innovation Leader of the Year award, presented at the Southern Arizona Tech + Business Expo on Oct. 6.
Janko Nikolich-Žugich
Janko Nikolich-Žugich

Zeng elected as a fellow of the American Geophysical Union

Xubin Zeng, professor in the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, has been named to the American Geophysical Union's 2021 class of fellows. The designation honors those who have made outstanding achievements and contributions in their scientific fields and who embody AGU's vision of "a thriving, sustainable and equitable future for all powered by discovery, innovation and action."

Zeng came to the University in 1998. His areas of expertise include land-atmosphere-ocean interface processes, weather and climate modeling, hydrometeorology, remote sensing and nonlinear dynamics.

AGU supports about 130,000 enthusiasts and experts worldwide in Earth and space sciences. The organization says fewer than 0.1% of its members are elected as fellows. Zeng and the other new fellows will be honored in December.

Schwiegerling honored with innovation awards

Jim Schwiegerling, professor in the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences, was recognized as the Southern Arizona Innovation Leader of the Year in the academia category at the Governor's Celebration of Innovation.

The event, presented by by the Arizona Technology Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority, was held Oct. 13.

Schwiegerling, who has worked at the University since 1995, developed a trifocal implantable cataract replacement lens for the eye that allows for distance, midrange and near vision and can potentially eliminate the need for glasses or contacts for some. He worked with Tech Launch Arizona, the University's commercialization office, to partner with global medical device company Alcon to use the technology in its trifocal intraocular lens.

The Arizona Technology Council's mission is to enhance the tech sector's presence in Arizona. The organization has more than 800 members. The Arizona Commerce Authority bills itself as the state's leading economic development organization tasked with growing and strengthening the state's economy.

The other finalists for the Innovator of the Year in the academia category included the BIO5 Institute and Hong Hua, professor of optical sciences. University medical device startup SaiOx Inc. was one of four finalists in the Innovator of the Year – Startup category.

On Oct. 6, Schwiegerling was named Innovation Leader of the Year at the Southern Arizona Tech + Business Expo, held at the Tucson Convention Center.

Read more about Schwiegerling's awards on the Tech Launch Arizona website.

Nikolich-Žugich named Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year

Janko Nikolich-Žugich, professor of immunobiology and member of the BIO5 Institute, has been named Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year by the Arizona Bioindustry Association. The award honors significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge and the understanding of biological processes through publications, professional acknowledgement and work in the academic or commercial sectors.

Nikolich-Žugich joined the University in 2008. His research interests include immunity to infection in older adults, immune rejuvenation and immunity and metabolic disorders. He is head of the Department of Immunobiology and co-director of the Arizona Center on Aging.

AZBio is dedicated to supporting the needs of Arizona's life sciences industry. Nikolich-Žugich was honored earlier this month as part of AZBio's Arizona Bioscience Week events.

Read more about the award and the work Nikolich-Žugich is doing involving COVID-19 on the Health Sciences website.

We want to know about your good news. If you, your team or a colleague has won any major awards, been honored nationally or internationally, or accomplished some other major feat that deserves recognition, let us know about it.

To submit your news, please send us an email with the following information:

  • Name of the person, team or unit receiving the honor with full University titles.
  • Information about the award/honor and the organization that granted it. Please include a link to the official announcement of the award/honor.
  • When the honor was announced and when it will be presented (or was presented).
  • A photo of the honoree. If others appear in the photo, please provide their names and identifying information, such as their University title/affiliation.

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