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Leonardi receives fellowship from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Paul Leonardi, assistant professor of communication studies, is one of six researchers selected to receive a 2010 Sloan Industry Studies Fellowship. The fellows were selected from highly qualified scholars in the early stages of their careers, all nominated and recommended by their department chairs and other senior scholars and executives from throughout the United States and Canada who are familiar with their talents.

"The Industry Studies Fellowships support the work of researchers early in their academic careers who are recognized for their exceptional promise to contribute to the advancement of knowledge as well as to U.S. industrial development," said Paul L. Joskow, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, in a press release. "Each fellow receives a grant of $45,000 for a two-year period and is free to pursue whatever line of inquiry or research that is most interesting to them and their industry partners."

"I was very surprised and honored to receive this prestigious award," said Leonardi, who teaches in the department of communication studies, the department of engineering and management sciences in the McCormick School of Engineering where he holds the Allen and Johnnie Breed Junior Chair of Design, and the department of management and organizations in the Kellogg School of Management.

Leonardi's teaching and research focus on issues pertaining to the design and implementation of new technologies, global product development, and the management of engineering work, which includes work in the automotive industry.

Over the past five years, Leonardi has explored how advanced computer simulation technologies are changing the way automotive design is done. Examining different ways that simulation technologies can be employed to support global product design, Leonardi's research has taken him to automotive engineering centers in Germany, Australia, Sweden, Korea, and India. He has investigated and made recommendations for how best to coordinate complex design work across the globe. With this award from the Sloan Foundation, Leonardi plans to extend this research on global product design, focusing on how knowledge about vehicle dynamics can be transferred to locations where engineers have no access to physical tests.

Sloan Industry Studies Fellowships are modeled after the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowships, which were created by Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., in 1955 to provide crucial and flexible funds to outstanding researchers early in their academic careers.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit, grant-making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan, Jr., then-president and chief executive officer of the General Motors Corporation, the foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economic performance.