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MRS Press Release

Rodney S. Ruoff Awarded 2014 David Turnbull Lectureship

October 20, 2014
Press & Public Relations Contact:

Ryan Rebholz
Communications Manager
Materials Research Society

WARRENDALE, PA—The Materials Research Society’s (MRS) David Turnbull Lectureship Award recognizes the career of a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to understanding materials phenomena and properties through research, writing, and lecturing, as exemplified by the late David Turnbull of Harvard University. This year's award will honor Rodney S. Ruoff, Director of the Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials (CMCM) at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), and Distinguished Professor at the Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology (UNIST) for "pioneering discoveries related to carbon materials and their innovative preparation, characterization, and mechanics." The award will be presented at the 2014 MRS Fall Meeting Awards Ceremony in Boston on Wednesday, December 3, and Ruoff will deliver the David Turnbull Lecture on December 4.

Devoting his career to research in carbon-based nanostructures, Ruoff has made numerous fundamental breakthroughs in the chemistry and physics of carbon materials and has shaped the research and practical applications of these materials as they are known today. His contributions created the chemical foundation of virtually all of the processing schemes involving these materials—from dispersions to devices and composites. His early work included extensive studies of fullerenes, and more recently, he has gained an international reputation for his work on graphenes. His extensive studies of the growth of graphene by chemical vapor deposition and graphene oxide in composites and for use in electrical energy storage initiated a large number of similar research studies worldwide.

“I think that the Turnbull prize has been, in part, awarded to me for work that I've done extending back to the early 1990’s." said Ruoff. "I have worked on a variety of carbon materials, like Carbon-60 (fullerenes), carbon nanotubes, carbon nanoparticles that encapsulated and protected metal nanocrystals, diamond—but in unusual forms like diamond nanorods—and some other nanostructures including Boron and metal boride nanotubes and nanoribbons, (the element Boron is adjacent to the element Carbon in the periodic table), and so on. Since 1999, we started publishing on graphene, and I have been fortunate to pioneer many areas of graphene science.”

Ruoff received his B.S. degree in chemistry from The University of Texas at Austin (1981) and his Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1988). After completing his studies, he was awarded a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Max Planck Institut für Strömungsforschung, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at IBM-Watson Research Laboratory. In 1991, Ruoff joined the Molecular Physics Laboratory at SRI International as a research staff scientist. He was appointed associate professor of physics at Washington University, Missouri, in 1997, and in 2000, he joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University, as full professor, where he also directed the Biologically Inspired Materials Institute and was the John Evans Professor of Engineering. From 2007 to 2013, Ruoff served as Cockrell Family Regents Chair at The University of Texas at Austin. He is a Fellow of the Materials Research Society, the American Physical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Ruoff received the Lee Hsun Lecture Award in 2009, and was Distinguished Chair Visiting Professor (2005–2007) at the Sungkyunkwan University Advanced Institute of NanoTechnology.

“I appreciated being nominated [for the award] and am honored to have been chosen,” Ruoff said. “This is also recognition of the many students and postdocs who have worked in my group, as well as colleagues that I have been fortunate to collaborate with.”

About the Materials Research Society

MRS is an organization of over 12,000 materials researchers from academia, industry and government worldwide, and a recognized leader in promoting the advancement of interdisciplinary materials research and technology to improve the quality of life. MRS members are students and professionals hailing from physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and engineering—the full spectrum of materials research. Headquartered in Warrendale, Pennsylvania (USA), MRS membership now spans 90 countries, with approximately 45 percent of members residing outside the United States.

MRS serves and engages members across generations to advance their careers and promote materials research and innovation. The Society produces high-quality meetings and publications, assuring that members of all career stages can present and publish their most important and timely work to an international and interdisciplinary audience. MRS continues to expand its professional development portfolio, as well as promote diversity and inclusion in the scientific workforce, with career services for researchers worldwide. The Society advocates for the importance of scientific research and innovation to policymakers and the community. And the MRS Awards program honors those whose work has already had a major impact in the field, as well as those whose work shows great promise for future leadership.

For more information about the Materials Research Society visit mrs.org and follow @Materials_MRS.