Sheng Dai, professor of chemistry and UT-ORNL joint faculty has been named a 2022 Distinguished Scientist Fellow by the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. This competitive award recognizes exceptional scientists with a history of bridging the gap between academic institutions and national laboratories.
Awardees receive $1 million in funding to be spent over three years with the intention of developing, sustaining, and promoting scientific and academic excellence through collaborations between universities and national laboratories. Only two scientists were awarded this year.
Dai was selected for his pioneering work in the development of functional materials for a variety of uses, including separation science, energy storage, catalysis, and other energy-related applications. It was also noted that Dai has a history of engaging in productive collaborations and serving as a mentor for future generations of researchers.
Dai received his PhD from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and joined the faculty of the chemistry department in 2009. His current research interests include ionic liquids, porous materials, and their applications for separation sciences and energy storage as well as catalysis by nanomaterials. His research has led to the 2020 Max Bredig Award for Ionic Liquids and Molten Salts, the 2019 ACS Award in Separation Science and Technology, and 2018 IMMA Award given by International Mesostructured Materials Association. He is a Fellow of Material Research Society and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The DOE Office of Science will host a lecture series featuring the 2022 awarded scientists. Dai will discuss his research accomplishments, career trajectory, and experiences November 9 at 1:30pm. The events are open to the public virtually on Zoom. Attendees can register to receive Zoom information.