Research is a journey of many challenging obstacles followed by some exciting moments. One of these exciting moments is when your hard work, as a scientist, is acknowledged by the scientific community. The MRS reward program aspires to recognize the achievements of pioneers in the field of materials science. The MRS award recipients - lightning talks and panel discussion on Tuesday was a unique opportunity to hear directly from the awardees about their outstanding work. During the session, chaired by Professor Suveen Mathaudhu, five awardees presented and engaged in active discussions about their remarkable contributions to the development of materials research.
This year's two MRS Postdoctoral Awards were granted to Dr. Yang Liu of the Pennsylvania State University and Dr. Yu Jun Tan of the National University of Singapore. Dr. Liu received this award as a recognition "for the pioneering research in ferroelectric polymers to achieve high piezoelectric responses and outstanding contributions to the understanding of relaxor ferroelectricity in polymers." Dr. Tan explained in her talk that her esteemed work in "developing stretchable, self-healing materials for smart electronics" was inspired by the unique properties of the skin of not only humans but jellyfish! Research in the development of skin-like electronics is also the interest of Professor Zhenan Bao of Stanford University, the recipient of the Mid-Career Researcher Award. Professor Bao was recognized "for pioneering contributions and conceptual developments to organic electronics and skin-inspired electronics."
The Outstanding Early-Career Investigator Award was granted to Professor Huolin Xin of the University of California, Irvine. This reward is accorded to young scientists working in interdisciplinary materials research. "Although I'm a physicist, I do a lot of work in the chemistry domain," stated Prof. Xin. This statement resonated with me because I also work in a multidisciplinary field of research and often cross the physics/chemistry border. The remarkable work of Professor Xin on the "development of innovative transmission electron microscopy imaging methodologies for advancing energy storage and conversion materials" was the reason behind his recognition. Last but not least Professor Jinawei (John) Miao, of the University of California, Los Angeles, was awarded the Innovation in Materials Characterization Award "for pioneering coherent diffractive imaging for a wide range of material systems and atomic electron tomography for determining atomic positions without assuming crystallinity." You can find the awardees' talks here. I left this session with a lot of information to process but also a strong motivation to work harder on my research.
This was my view of Tuesday's 2021 virtual MRS spring meeting and exhibit. If you enjoyed it, why don't you come back for one more blog post!