School of engineering and applied science

Professor elevated to named post

Eric Altman, a leader in the field of chemical engineering, has been appointed the Roberto C. Goizueta Professor of Chemical Engineering. Since joining the Yale faculty in 1994, Altman has advanced the understanding of the chemical processes that take place on solid surfaces, ranging from heterogeneous catalysis to the formation and characterization of novel materials, and has developed new ways to harness and apply those processes. This experimental work cuts across scientific disciplines, and Altman collaborates regularly with colleagues in fields ranging from applied physics to chemistry to mechanical engineering and materials science.

Grant funds exciton research

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a five-year, $750,000 grant to Diana Qiu ’11, assistant professor of mechanical engineering & materials science, to develop ways to better predict the behavior of excitons—a critical step to developing more efficient solar cells and faster optoelectronic devices. The grant is part of the DOE’s Early Career Research Program, which supports exceptional scientists during the years when many do formative work in the agency’s priority research areas. An exciton is the combination of an electron and a hole, which is a positively charged empty state caused by the absence of an electron. Because of their opposite charges, they create a bound system known as an exciton. 

Award honors outstanding teaching

Jakub Szefer, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, is the winner of the 2021 Ackerman Award for Teaching and Mentoring. Made possible by a generous gift from SEAS alum Robert W. Ackerman ’60, the annual award includes a $5,000 cash prize and recognizes outstanding teaching and mentoring, and the faculty member’s impact on students. “Professor Szefer encouraged and supported students to go beyond the bare minimum of assignments and to push the envelope towards the research of new ideas,” one student wrote in a nomination letter.

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