Arezoo Ardekani Receives PECASE


Dr. Arezoo Motavalizadeh Ardekani, assistant professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. (Photo credit: Purdue Office of Research and Partnerships)

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative congratulates one of its own – Dr. Arezoo Motavalizadeh Ardekani, an assistant professor at Purdue University’s School of Mechanical Engineering – for receiving the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

Ardekani, a co-principal investigator with the RFP-V project Role of Microbial Motility for Degradation of Dispersed Oil, was recognized for her research on the fundamental understanding and modelling of microorganism transport and bacterial biofilm formation through imaginative computations and elegant experiments and for demonstrating commitment to increasing underrepresented minority participation in STEM-related research.


(Click to enlarge) President Barack Obama joins the PECASE recipients for a group photo (Dr. Ardekani on the far left, 2nd row from back) in the East Room of the White House, May 5, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Ardekani was among a group of leading scientists welcomed at the White House by President Obama on May 5, 2016. These scientists were recognized as outstanding young scientists and innovators who are not only leaders in their fields but are also giving back to their communities and paving the way for the next generation. The recipients spent two days in Washington, D.C., meeting with Administration leaders and sharing the insights of their work.


Ardekani (5th from the right) with the other National Science Foundation recipients of the PECASE. (Photo credit: National Science Foundation)

“I’m deeply honored and humbled to be recognized for what I love doing most, scientific research and education,” Ardekani said when speaking about the award. “The White House visit and award ceremony was fantastic. It was a great honor to meet President Obama and be on his list of extraordinary early-career scientists.”


Dr. Ardekani has received a grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) to the Purdue University School of Mechanical Engineering for their project Role of Microbial Motility for Degradation of Dispersed Oil.

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is a 10-year independent research program established to study the effect, and the potential associated impact, of hydrocarbon releases on the environment and public health, as well as to develop improved spill mitigation, oil detection, characterization and remediation technologies. An independent and academic 20-member Research Board makes the funding and research direction decisions to ensure the intellectual quality, effectiveness and academic independence of the GoMRI research. All research data, findings and publications will be made publicly available. The program was established through a $500 million financial commitment from BP. For more information, visit