President Barack Obama talks with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) recipients in the East Room of the White House, April 14, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — With his final day in office rapidly approaching, President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced the 102 scientists and researchers who have been selected to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

The class features a foursome of Indian Americans, who are being bestowed with the highest government honor scientists and engineering professionals can receive in the early stages of their research careers.

Pankaj Lal from Montclair State University, Kaushik Chowdhury from Northeastern University, Manish Arora from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Aradhna Tripati from UCLA are this year’s Indian-American honorees.

Lal was selected for his work with the Department of Agriculture, he currently serves as an assistant professor in Earth and environmental studies at Montclair. Lal completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Delhi, and obtained his master’s degree from the Delhi School of Economics. After completing his MBA at the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Lal finally concluded his studies after graduating with his Ph.D. from the University of Florida.

Chowdhury is an associate professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Northeastern University, as well as a faculty fellow of the College of Engineering. He is being recognized for his work alongside the Department of Defense.

Arora, whose work for the Department of Health and Human Services earned him the award, is currently a dentistry associate professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Established by President Bill Clinton in 1996, the award is recognition for those Americans who keep the U.S. on the cutting edge on innovation, while at the same time growing the country’s economy and tackling its greatest challenges.

“I congratulate these outstanding scientists and engineers on their impactful work, these innovators are working to help keep the United States on the cutting edge, showing that Federal investments in sciences lead to advancements that expand our knowledge of the world around us and contribute to our economy,” Obama said.