Yuzhe Xiao, Assistant Professor of Physics, has been awarded the prestigious 2023 Young Faculty Award (YFA) by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This prestigious accolade, granted to only about 30 promising young researchers each year, aims to recognize and support rising stars in junior research positions in academia and non-profit research institutions. DARPA's mission for the YFA program is to foster innovative research that aligns with Department of Defense (DoD) needs and encourages technological advancements that could transform the nation's security capabilities. Xiao's winning proposal, "Exploring thermal properties of nanoscale wide bandgap semiconductors via ultrafast thermal-emission spectroscopy," focuses on unraveling the thermal properties of nanoscale wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductors like gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC). These materials are essential for high-power and high-temperature applications.