ECS Member Named Blavatnik National Laureate

Yi Cui

Image: Yi Cui Lab

The Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences today announced the 2017 Laureates of the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. Starting with a pool of 308 nominees – the most promising scientific researchers aged 42 years and younger nominated by America’s top academic and research institutions – a distinguished jury first narrowed their selections to 30 finalists, and then to three outstanding Laureates, one each from the disciplines of life sciences, chemistry, and physical sciences and engineering. Each Laureate will receive $250,000 – the largest unrestricted award of its kind for early career scientists and engineers.

ECS member Yi Cui was one of three awarded the 2017 Balvatnik National Award for Young Scientists.

Cui is a professor of materials science and engineering and of photon science at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He is a member of ECS’s Battery Division and the San Francisco Section. Cui is being honored by the Balvatnik Family Foundation for his technological innovations in the use of nanomaterials for environmental protection and the development of sustainable energy sources.

“Professor Cui is a world-leading researcher in the fields of energy and nanomaterials science who is making extraordinary contributions to these important areas of technology,” says David Awschalom, member of the 2017 national award jury. “His approach towards achieving the goals of efficient storage and conversion of energy by exploiting precise nanoscale materials design is extremely creative, and is already having a global impact.”

Cui’s work in energy, environmental, and technological solutions has garnered global attention. His research focuses on nanoscale electronic and photonic devices, batteries, solar cells, microbial fuel cells, water filters, and chemical and biological sensors.

“My goal is to generate leading-edge technologies for sustainable energy and environmental protection,” says Cui. “I want to generate breakthrough technologies that can change the world, commercialize these technologies to make a real impact on society, and mentor many outstanding students who will develop high-impact technologies throughout their careers.”

(MORE: Read Cui’s 2017 meeting abstract, “Large Enhancement of Ionic Conductivity in Composite Polymer Electrolyte with Well-Aligned Ceramic Nanowires,” in the ECS Digital Library.)

“Each of our 2017 National Laureates is shifting paradigms in areas that profoundly affect the way we tackle the health of our population and our planet — improved ways to store energy, “greener” drug and fuel production, and novel tools to correct disease-causing genetic mutations,” says Ellis Rubinstein, president and CEO of the Academy and Chair of the Awards’ Scientific Advisory Council. “Recognition programs like the Blavatnik Awards provide incentives and resources for rising stars, and help them to continue their important work. We look forward to learning where their innovations and future discoveries will take us in the years ahead.”

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