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Source: Krista Walton, 785-532-4316; kwalton@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Mary Rankin, mrankin@k-state.edu

Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009

K-STATE CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PROFESSOR RECEIVES AWARD IN WHITE HOUSE CEREMONY

MANHATTAN -- Krista Walton, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Kansas State University, is the recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the nation's highest honor for professionals at the outset of their independent scientific research careers.

Walton and 14 other scholars, nominated by the U.S. Department of Defense, were recognized in White House ceremonies Dec. 19, receiving their awards from President George W. Bush. In support of their basic research, recipients will each receive $200,000 a year for five years.

"Krista Walton's receiving the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers recognizes her as one of the top young researchers in the United States in adsorption science and technology," said K-State Provost M. Duane Nellis. "In addition to her research expertise, she mentors students in her department and is a wonderful role model for them to emulate."

The award was established in 1996 to honor the most promising researchers in the nation within their fields. Nine federal departments and agencies annually nominate scientists and engineers who are at the start of their independent careers and whose work shows exceptional promise for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge. 

"In winning this award, Krista Walton has garnered significant recognition not only for herself and her research, but also for our department, the College of Engineering and Kansas State University," said Mary Rezac, department head of chemical engineering. "It is truly exciting to work with faculty of this caliber."

Walton earned a B.S.E. in chemical and materials engineering from the University of Alabama - Huntsville in 2000, and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering in 2005 from Vanderbilt University. She joined the chemical engineering faculty at K-State in 2006 as the Tim and Sharon Taylor Assistant Professor.

A recognized scientific contributor in adsorption science and technology, Walton worked as an American Chemical Society Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Northwestern University, as well as a graduate research assistant and IBM Fellow at Vanderbilt University. As part of her NASA-sponsored graduate research, she designed a novel adsorption separation system for producing oxygen in the Mars in situ resource utilization project.

In the past four years, Walton has authored 14 publications in high-impact journals and has nearly 30 presentations to her credit, nearly one-third of which were presented to international audiences. A regular reviewer for publications for the leading journals in her field, she has also served on several scientific review panels.

She is a member of the International Adsorption Society, the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, where she serves on the Area 2e Adsorption and Ion Exchange Committee.