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Families, friends and colleagues celebrated 11 University of Central Florida faculty members Wednesday during the second annual Luminary Awards Night.

The event, cosponsored by the Office of Research and Faculty Excellence, recognizes faculty members across all disciplines for being academic leaders in their field and conducting work that has a significant impact on the world.

“Luminaries, you shine a positive light on the university and illuminate the path for discovery and UCF’s future successes,” UCF President Dale Whittaker told the audience gathered at Orlando’s Harry P. Leu Gardens. “I can’t think of a better word to describe the work of tonight’s honorees than ‘impact.’ These individuals embody UCF’s promise to have a positive, lasting impact on our students and society.”

Recipients received a glass award and each week one faculty member will be featured on the Office of Research website through December. Two of the recipients were from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering:

  • Professor Sudipta Seal, College of Engineering and Computer Science. Seal is an award-winning professor who has been recognized several times by national organizations. His area of expertise is blending engineering, materials science and nanotechnology for applications in medicine, space and the environment.
  • Associate Professor Jayan Thomas, the NanoScience Technology Center. Thomas has developed wearable materials that can charge electronic devices. He is also researching materials for 3D holographic displays. Another area of research is the creation of nanomaterials to protect people and devices from laser threats.