Six Purdue Science researchers earn prestigious NSF CAREER Awards


Six Purdue College of Science faculty members received Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards from the National Science Foundation.

The researchers – one from the Department of Mathematics (Jingwei Hu) and five from the Department of Chemistry – received the awards throughout the 2016-17 academic year but were honored this week.

CAREER Awards are considered one of the most prestigious for promising researchers in science and engineering.

Hu Professor Jingwei Hu was honored for her recent work with "Predictive Simulations of Complex Kinetic Systems." The project aims to build an integrated program of research and education focused on advances in predictive simulations of complex kinetic systems. The research objective of this project is to develop highly efficient stochastic and multiscale numerical methods for Boltzmann-like kinetic equations. A parallel educational objective is to create innovative opportunities for students at all levels to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and promote career interest in these disciplines, especially among female students.
Mei Professor Jianguo Mei received his award through the Division of Materials Research Polymers program. He is exploring greener and more sustainable semiconducting polymers, with the goal of building a dynamic polymer program at Purdue. Semiconducting polymers are a special class of macromolecules that can conduct electrical currents and absorb or emit light. These polymers are used in a wide range of electronic devices, including light-emitting diodes, solar cells, transistors, and many others.
Huang Professor Libai Huang is developing innovative microscopy techniques that provide "movies" of how light energy absorbed by molecules moves in space and in time. The research has applications in solar energy technology and a high school outreach component. Huang recently discovered a new material has been shown to have the capability to double the efficiency of solar cells. The new material, a crystalline structure that contains both inorganic materials (iodine and lead) and an organic material (methyl-ammonium), boosts the efficiency so that it can carry two-thirds of the energy from light without losing as much energy to heat. This material could double the amount of electricity produced without a significant cost increase.
Claridge Professor Shelley Claridge is developing bioinspired surface chemistry that tailors electronic properties and solubility of technologically important layered materials such as graphene, with applications ranging from improving efficiency of organic photovoltaic devices to designing precision biosensors. The educational component of her program uses campus dining facilities as context-rich learning environments for first-year general chemistry students.
Dai Professor Mingji Dai is developing new palladium-catalyzed carbonylation methodologies and strategies for the syntheses of bioactive natural products.
uyeda Professor Christopher Uyeda is studying molecular transition metal catalysts containing dinuclear active sites aiming to develop the fundamental principles underlying the design of robust and efficient synthetic multinuclear catalysts.

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