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Andrew Houck has just received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers — one of the highest honors bestowed on young researchers.

Houck, who studies electronics on a microscopic level, has the not-so-unambitious ambition of building the world’s first quantum computer. In 2009, Houck was a Packard fellow, received a Sloan research fellowship, and was anointed one of Technology Review‘s top 35 young innovators. In 2008 he received the Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists from the New York Academy of Sciences.

Houck, who earned his Ph.D. in experimental physics from Harvard University in 2005, was an electrical engineering major as an undergraduate at Princeton, where he was valedictorian of the class of 2000.