Yaoli Zhao Named 2023 ECS Sensor Division Student Research Award Winner

Yaoli Zhao

Yaoli Zhao

The 2023 winner of the ECS Sensor Division Student Research Award is Yaoli Zhao of the University of Buffalo for her contributions to developing a new method for standoff and point detection of chemicals by combining photothermal and photoacoustic effects with microfabricated cantilever beams to simultaneously achieve very high molecular selectivity and very high sensitivity.  She will be recognized at the 245th ECS Meeting in San Francisco, CA, and deliver her award talk there.

Yaoli Zhao is a PhD student working in Thomas Thundat’s University at Buffalo lab, specializing in the field of chemical detection. Her current research focuses on developing innovative standoff detection sensors, specifically for plastic classification. Zhao successfully developed techniques and demonstrated methods for molecular identification of plastics, which resulted in the publication of multiple research papers in refereed journals including one as a corresponding author in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society.

Zhao serves as President of the ECS University at Buffalo Student Chapter. She has received notable awards including travel grants for the 243rd ECS Meeting and 2023 GSA. She won 2nd Prize in the Keysight Innovation Challenge and was chosen to be a graduate student speaker at the University at Buffalo’s Graduate Research Symposium. She enjoys recreational activities such as skiing, snowboarding, roller skating, climbing, swimming, badminton, and volleyball. Zhao has maintained a consistent workout routine for over three years and is a license-holding motorcycle enthusiast.

Sensor Division Student Research Award

The Sensor Division Student Research Award, established in 2021, recognizes promising graduate students for conducting outstanding research in the field of sensors and encourages recipients to continue careers in the field and remain active in the ECS Sensor Division. The recipient is asked to present a lecture at an ECS Sensor Division symposium when the award is presented.

Nominations for the 2024 Sensor Division Student Research Award are accepted through January 15, 2024.

Visit the award page for eligibility criteria, nomination requirements, and the list of past recipients.

ECS Honors & Awards Program

The Society recognizes outstanding technical achievements in electrochemistry and solid state science and technology through the Honors & Awards Program. These awards are an opportunity to highlight the contributions of our scientific community’s many deserving members.


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