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Professor selected for junior faculty award

December 17, 2020 - by Kim Delker

photo of Shuya Wei

Shuya Wei, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at The University of New Mexico, has been selected for the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, given by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU).

Wei was among 35 junior faculty to receive competitive research grants totaling $175,000 for the 2020-21 year. The annual grants are made through the ORAU’s Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards program that provides funds to enrich the research and professional growth of young faculty.

The recipients, each of whom is in the first two years of a tenure-track position, receive $5,000 in seed money for the 2020-2021 academic year to enhance their research during the early stages of their careers. Each recipient’s institution matches the ORAU award with an additional $5,000, making the total prize worth $10,000 for each winner. Winners may use the grants to purchase equipment, continue research or travel to professional meetings and conferences.

Wei joined UNM in 2019. Her research interests are understanding the fundamentals of electrochemical processes in electrodes and at electrode/electrolyte interfaces, and on that basis, developing next-generation, high-energy batteries for energy and environmental applications. She also focuses on nanocomposites and biomaterials design and their applications in electrochemical energy storage. Her current research projects include developing inexpensive chemical waste batteries by using earth- abundant materials that can capture/convert greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and at the same time generate/store electricity.

ORAU is a consortium of American universities headquartered in Oak Ridge, Tenn., with an office in Washington, D.C., and staff at several other locations across the country.