Yuan Wei receives Professor Jack L. Koenig Endowed Spectroscopy Award

headshot of yuan wei

Yuan Wei, a PhD student in the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering was awarded the Professor Jack L. Koenig Endowed Spectroscopy Award for 2019-2020 by the Case Alumni Association. The award annually recognizes an outstanding graduate student in the department of macromolecular engineering. 

Yuan was recognized for his combined expert skill in polymer synthesis to create novel deuterium-labeled, polymer-grafted SiO2 nanoparticles with neutron scattering techniques. Specifically, he measured their structure and relaxation dynamics using a combination of small-angle neutron scattering and neutron spin echo spectroscopy. He is the first in the world to measure the local relaxation dynamics of polymer grafted nanoparticles, and is currently working on follow-up studies to identify novel “breathing modes” in the grafted polymers – the result of which may lead to an enhanced understanding of the mechanical properties and energy dissipation abilities of polymer nanocomposites.  

“Yuan worked incredibly hard to solve this problem, which required a lot of chemical synthesis as well as the application of advanced neutron scattering techniques, remarked Mike Hore, Assistant Professor in the Department Macromolecular Science and Engineering and Wei’s thesis advisor. “This was not an easy experiment, and we are extraordinarily proud of what he has accomplished.”

The prize was established at the Case Alumni Association in 1998 by the friends, students and colleagues of Jack Koenig, a founding faculty member of the department. Koenig distinguished himself in the area of polymer spectroscopy (in particular IR, Raman and NMR), and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2000 in recognition of his many accomplishments.