Wang named recipient of O'Donnell Award

H _wangDr. Haiyan Wang, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, has been named one of four recipients of the 2015 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award.

The award, which is presented by The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas (TAMEST), recognizes rising Texas researchers who are addressing the essential role that science and technology play in society, and whose work meets the highest standards of exemplary professional performance, creativity, and resourcefulness.  

The recipients will be honored during a banquet on Jan. 22, 2015, in conjunction with TAMEST’s 12th Annual Conference at the Omni Houston Hotel in Houston.

The other recipients include: Thomas Westbrook from Baylor College of Medicine (medicine); Yuh Min Chook from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (science); and Charles Collins from Luminex Corporation (technology innovation).

“The recipients of the 2015 O’Donnell Awards exemplify the innovative, life-changing research occurring in Texas,” said Dr. Bettie Sue Masters, TAMEST’s 2014 president. “With a focus on cancer genetics, nanostructured materials and devices, protein transport in and out of the cell nucleus, and 2 instrumentation engineering and optical systems, these noteworthy Texans have made discoveries or developed technologies that will significantly impact our society today and for years to come. 

Wang was honored in the engineering category and is recognized for her innovative research at the frontier of nanostructured materials in the areas of high temperature superconductors, microelectronic and optoelectronic devices, solid oxide fuel cells, nuclear materials, in situ TEM characterizations, and for her exceptional potential in inspired education and future leadership.

Wang, who also holds a joint position in the Materials Science and Engineering Program at Texas A&M, works part-time at the U.S. National Science Foundation as a program manager in the Division of Materials Research.

From December 2002 to January 2006, Wang was on the staff of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, first as a director-funded post-doctoral fellow and then as a permanent technical staff member. In 2006, she joined the faculty at Texas A&M as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor and full professor in 2010 and 2014, respectively. She received her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from North Carolina State University in 2002.

Wang has made significant contributions to a wide range of nanostructured ceramic thin films for various applications, including nitride-based heterogeneous structures for high efficiency diffusion barriers and light emitting diodes, high temperature superconductor coated conductors with significantly enhanced superconducting properties, ferromagnetic and ferroelectric oxide thin films, perovskite oxides for thin film solid oxide fuel cells, in situ TEM work and others.

Her unique skill combination of both thin film processing and atomic scale characterization using transmission electron microscopy has enabled her to nanoengineer the thin film structure and exam the defects in nanoscale.

She has published more than 300 journal articles in Nature Materials, Nature Communications, Nature’s Scientific Report, Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, and NanoLetters, and presented 150 invited and contributed talks at various international conferences.

Wang holds eight patents in the areas of thin film processing and architectures. Her work has received a total citation over 6400 times with an H-index of 39. She has organized eight symposiums at international conferences and is an active committee member in the American Society of Metals (ASM), American Ceramic Society (ACerS) and Metals, Minerals and Materials Society (TMS).

Wang is a fellow of the ASM International (Class of 2014). Her major awards include the TEES Senior Fellow 2014, TEES Fellow 2013, ASM Silver Medal Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Materials Scientist in 2011, a College Faculty Fellow Award in 2011, a TEES Young Fellow Award in 2010, an NSF Career Award in 2009, The Presidential Early Career Award (PECASE) in 2008, an Office of Naval Research-Young Investigator Award in 2008 and an Air Force of Scientific Research-Young Investigator Award in 2007. The total project funding she managed over the past five years exceeds $6 million from five different federal funding agencies.

The O’Donnell Awards were first presented in 2006, and a total of $925,000 has been awarded to 40 recipients since the inception of the program. The awards are named in honor of Edith and Peter O’Donnell who are among Texas’ staunchest advocates for excellence in scientific advancement and STEM education.

About TAMEST: TAMEST is what comes before the change you see in our state. A nonprofit and a brain trust for Texas, TAMEST convenes influential experts to promote cross-industry and cross-disciplinary knowledge sharing. Through TAMEST, research collides with industry. Our members make new discoveries, lay the groundwork for tackling critical issues, and change the course of funding, legislation, and society. With 270+ members, TAMEST is composed of the Texas-based members of the three National Academies (Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Sciences) and the state’s 10 Nobel Laureates. TAMEST brings the state’s top scientific, academic, and corporate minds together to further position Texas as a national research leader. TAMEST also fosters the next generation of scientists and facilitates awareness and communication among the state’s best and brightest about research priorities for the future. More information is available at tamest.org.