Polymer scientist Junpeng Wang has been named a 2023 Sloan Research Fellow for his studies on polymeric materials.
Wang is an assistant professor of polymer science at The University of Akron in Ohio. He's the first UA faculty member to receive the fellowship, which includes $75,000 that can be spent over two years on any research expense.
The Sloan Research Fellowship award is granted annually to 126 scientists in the U.S. and Canada studying chemistry, computer science, earth system science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience and physics. It's presented by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting original research and education.
In a news release, UA officials said that Wang's primary research is focused on understanding the interactions between molecular-level knowledge and macroscopic properties of polymeric materials to develop new functional materials. They added that in recent years — to address the accumulation of plastic waste and lack of recycling — Wang's lab has worked to develop new sustainable polymers.
"This recognition at the early stage of my career will encourage me to continually overcome challenges and pursue great science," Wang said. "I would like to share this honor with my past and current lab members. It is their hard work that makes this possible.
"Academic careers are full of challenges, and I would also like to thank my family — especially my wife — for their support on my job and the sacrifices they have made over the years."
Wang also thanked his Ph.D. and post-doctorate advisors and colleagues in the UA School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.
Wang joined the UA faculty in 2019. He holds a PhD in Chemistry from Duke University and a bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the University of Science & Technology of China.