Forbes "30 under 30" scientist awarded RAEng Distinguished Fellowship


Alexander Chilton

Qian Chen, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Illinois, has been awarded a Distinguished Visiting Fellowship by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) to conduct research at the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials.

Qian Chen
Qian Chen
Chen will visit The University of Manchester in late 2016 and spend a month working with Professor Grace Burke in the School of Materials on research involving the use of advanced Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) imaging to tackle fouling and separation challenges faced by the oil and gas industry.

The goal of the visit is to initiate long-term collaborations in understanding and engineering artificial and natural nanoparticle assemblies for the purpose of developing fresh, generalizable concepts in materials science and nanochemistry.

“We are delighted that Dr. Chen will be visiting Manchester to collaborate with other world-leading researchers at the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials to improve our understanding of the fouling and separation issues which our industry faces on a daily basis,” said Robert Sorrell, vice president of public partnerships, BP plc.

The RAEng application has been supported by the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials (BP-ICAM), which was set up in 2012 with a ten year $100 million investment program from BP, and already links the Universities of Manchester and Illinois on collaborative research projects.

In January 2016, Chen was included on the Forbes magazine "30 under 30" list, a collection of individuals which “represent the entrepreneurial, creative and intellectual best of their generation”.  Previous Forbes "30 under 30" listees include the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and the popstar Lady Gaga. 

Chen received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Peking University in 2007 and a PhD in materials science and engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012. Later that year, she received the prestigious three-year Miller Fellowship from University of California, Berkeley to work on in situ TEM related energy studies and bio-imaging.

In 2015, she received the American Chemical Society’s Victor K. LaMer Award for graduate research in colloid and surface chemistry. She also joined the Illinois faculty in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and as an affiliate in the Department of Chemistry at Illinois.