Jan. 18, 2023

Engineering assistant professor receives NSF CAREER Award


Trung Le, NDSU assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, conducts research on river ice.

Trung Le, assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering in the NDSU College of Engineering, has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, considered the agency’s most prestigious award in support of early-career faculty.

The $500,000 grant will fund hands-on research and learning opportunities for students at NDSU and a collaboration with the Red River Keepers to provide scientific activities for K-12 students and teachers.

“I am excited to receive this award,” Le said. “It is a great confirmation from the scientific community on the importance of the research direction that I chose.”

Le’s research is focused on understanding the flow of river ice, which can cause disasters like flooding, scour, ice jams and bank erosion. Finding solutions to prevent damage caused by river ice is enormously complex. Money from the CAREER grant will be used to develop the technology needed to obtain high-resolution flow data in ice-covered rivers which will lead to new ways to prevent river ice disasters.

“The proposed project will use field measurement, mathematical analysis and computer modeling to tackle the river ice problem by developing a novel theory for ice processes,” Le said. “As the framework is applicable for any ice-covered condition, our work will advance our understanding on river ice processes not only on Earth, including the polar regions, but also on other planets.”

Le joined NDSU in 2018 after earning his doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota. He has served as the reviewer for 30 international journals and funding agencies, has received several national and international awards and is a fellow of the Vietnam Education Foundation.

Le also is involved with the Sunday Academy program, which is designed to generate interest in science, technology, engineering and math among American Indian students.

NSF awards CAREER grants to scholars who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education. Overall, CAREER awardees at NDSU have received nearly $15 million in grants to conduct research in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, civil and electrical engineering, computer science, geosciences, pharmaceutical sciences, plant sciences, coatings and polymeric materials, and veterinary and microbiological sciences.

Le’s research is funded by Award No. 2239799 from the National Science Foundation.

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