University of Rochester

Chemical Engineer Receives NSF's Prestigious CAREER Award

April 8, 2005

The National Science Foundation has offered one of its most prestigious awards to Hong Yang, assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of Rochester. The CAREER award is given to promising scientists early in their careers to help them develop their research. The awardees are selected on the basis of creative proposals that effectively integrate research and education. The grant provides $520,000 over a five-year period.

"Hong has been a model researcher since his arrival in the summer of 2001," says Shaw Chen, chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering. "We are all excited about his recognition by a highly competitive award at an early stage of his career."

Yang will use the grant to research a new alloy-processing technique to produce ultra-hard magnetic materials from nanoparticles that may be the core of new, efficient electric motors for automobiles, airplanes, and even space vehicles. Yang is also looking to discover if these same materials might be used as catalysts for hydrogen and methanol fuel cells to power these same motors. Such devices hold considerable promise for clean energy generation and as new long-lasting power sources for portable microelectronic devices. The grant will also support Yang's undergraduate research and education activities, as well as outreach programs to local high school students through the American Chemical Society Project SEED, and Pittsford Summer Internship programs.

Yang holds a secondary appointment at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester. He received his doctorate from the University of Toronto in 1998, and has been with the University of Rochester since 2001. His research programs are sponsored by the National Science Foundation, American Chemical Society, Environmental Protection Agency, NIEHS Center for Excellence, and the Laboratory for Laser Energetics.