Three engineering faculty receive DuPont Young Professor grants
Xinqiao Jia
Matthew Doty
Thomas H. Epps, III


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8:52 a.m., Sept. 14, 2010----University of Delaware professors from the departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Chemical Engineering were recognized by DuPont as three of 12 young professors from universities in the United States and China to receive the DuPont Young Professor grant for original research.

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This innovative grant program, which began in 1967, is designed to provide unrestricted start-up assistance to promising young and untenured research faculty working in areas of interest to DuPont's long-term business.

Each University of Delaware professor will receive a $75,000 grant, given in $25,000 increments over three years. The grants may be used to obtain matching funds through the National Science Foundation or other organizations.

The UD professors receiving the grants are Xinqiao Jia and Matthew Doty, assistant professors in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Thomas H. Epps, III, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

“I am extremely proud of the high quality, innovative research being conducted by these three dynamic young faculty members. They are becoming national leaders in their field, and are among the best and brightest who 'Dare to be first' at the University,” said Michael Chajes, dean of the College of Engineering at UD.

“The Young Professor grant program is a way to find promising researchers and promising science early in a new professor's career,” Uma Chowdhry, DuPont senior vice president and chief science and technology officer, said. “The DuPont Young Professor grant program is an excellent way for DuPont to create lasting relationships with future academic scientists who can provide the company with unique perspectives on technological challenges, further aiding our R&D process."

Jia's primary focus is on the synthesis of functional biomaterials for drug delivery and tissue engineering applications. Her work on the development of elastin mimetic hybrid polymers for vocal fold repair and regeneration was highlighted in Chemical and Engineering News in September 2008. Jia was named Outstanding Junior Faculty in UD's College of Engineering in 2010. Following undergraduate studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, Jia received her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Doty's focus is on understanding and controlling nanostructured materials at the quantum mechanical level. Applications of his work include the design of coupled “quantum dot molecules” for next generation information processing devices and nanostructured photovoltaics with optimized energy absorption and transport. Published widely, Doty received his doctorate in physics from University of California, Santa Barbara in 2004, following undergraduate work at Pennsylvania State University.

Epps' current research focuses on surface and interfacial interactions in nanostructured polymeric systems. Epps was named Outstanding Junior Faculty in the College of Engineering and was awarded a Department of Defense Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2009. He received his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2004, following undergraduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Young Professors Grant Program

The 2010 Young Professors Grant Program is significant, not only for the diversity of people, universities and studies represented, but because it has reached out to the academic community for more than 41 years, making it one of the most sustainable programs for academic support in the United States.

Professors are nominated by a member of the DuPont technical staff who agrees to serve as the liaison between DuPont and the faculty member. The DuPont Fellows Forum, which includes the top scientists in the company, selects the award winners each year. During each grant, the recipient is invited to present a seminar on their work to the DuPont research community.

Other DuPont Young Professors in the Class of 2010 includes professors from China, the University of Texas, Austin; University of California Los Angeles (UCLA); Princeton University; Texas A&M University; Wayne State University, Detroit; University of Wisconsin, Madison; Purdue University and University of California, Riverside.

Since the inception of the award 43 years ago, more than 530 young professors from across the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Canada and Africa have received nearly $46 million in grants.

About DuPont

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 90 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

About the University of Delaware

The University of Delaware has a great tradition of excellence, from our founding as a small private academy in 1743, to the research-intensive, technologically advanced institution of today. The University received its charter from the state of Delaware in 1833 and was designated one of the nation's historic Land Grant colleges in 1867. Today, UD is a Land Grant, Sea Grant and Space Grant institution. UD also is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a research university with very high research activity -- a designation accorded to less than three percent of U.S. colleges and universities.