Sylvain G. Cloutier, PhD, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Delaware (UD), is the university's first recipient of a DARPA Young Faculty Award. Cloutier, who joined UD in 2006, is one of 39 nontenured faculty members nationwide identified by DARPA as “rising stars” in university microsystems research; his work combines optics and materials. "We are looking for new ways to generate laser action onto silicon. The goal is to interface high-speed optical links with conventional silicon-based microelectronics, which would dramatically improve on-chip and chip-to-chip data transfer and computing speeds," he said. "The approach we propose is completely different from everything that has been done so far, and this is what the DARPA Young Faculty Award program is looking for." Cloutier also is working on flexible solar cells, carbon nanotube optoelectronics properties and new approaches for blood cell counting and analysis, or cytometry, using laser scattering. He also collaborates with Richard Wolbers, associate professor of art conservation at UD, on laser spectroscopy for analyzing paint in works of art. Cloutier received a bachelor's in engineering physics and a master's in physics from the Université Laval in Québec, and a doctorate in engineering from Brown University. He has worked for Telops Inc. and ITF Optical Technologies in Quebec and received two fellowships in Canada. Cloutier will receive a grant of approximately $150,000 (subject to negotiation) to further develop and validate his research during the next year.