Thuc Quyen Nguyen, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC Santa Barbara, has won a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Nguyen is one of 118 outstanding early career scientists, mathematicians, and economists to be named Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows. The winners are faculty members at 61 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. These Fellows are conducting research at the frontiers of physics, chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics, and neuroscience.
Fellows can use their two-year, $50,000 grants to pursue whatever lines of inquiry are of most interest to them. Funds are awarded directly to the Fellow's institution and may be used by the Fellow for such purposes as equipment, technical assistance, professional travel, trainee support, or any activity directly related to the Fellow's research.
Nguyen won the award for her research in chemistry, focusing on organic semiconductor materials. Such materials could form the basis of new technologies, in which complex electronic functions are produced by simple printing or roll-to-roll coating techniques.
"Our goal is to establish how molecular structure and processing methods can be rationally implemented in applications such as transistors, solar cells and light-emitting diodes," said Nguyen. "From an overall perspective, these studies tackle fundamental, critical problems associated with emerging organic semiconductor-based technologies that generate energy and that contribute to energy conservation."
Nguyen obtained her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from UCLA in 1997, 1999, and 2001 respectively. She received several awards including the Dissertation Awards from the Chemistry Department at UCLA and the UCLA Regents for outstanding performance in research in physical chemistry, and the Outstanding Innovative Research Award in Advanced Materials at the International Conference on Synthetic Metals. She went on to be a research associate in the Department of Chemistry and the Nanocenter at Columbia University. She also worked at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. She joined the UCSB faculty in 2004.
Nguyen is also the recipient of the Harold J. Plous Award, one of the university's two most prestigious faculty honors. The honor is given annually by UCSB's Academic Senate, on behalf of the faculty, to an assistant professor from the humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences, who has shown exceptional achievement in research, teaching, and service to the university.
The Sloan Research Fellowships have been awarded since 1955. Since then, 38 Sloan Research Fellows have gone on to win the Nobel Prize in their fields and 14 have received the Fields medal, the top honor in mathematics.
Issued: Feb. 23; updated: Feb. 24