Chemical engineering researcher honoured with a prestigious award

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Aiping Yu

Dr. Aiping Yu is having a banner year! In the spring of 2022, Yu was appointed as a University Research Chair. Following that honour, she has now been awarded the Rutherford Medal in Chemistry by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) for her outstanding achievements in advancing knowledge and innovation in Canada.

Yu is a world-leading expert in bridging the gap between laboratory discoveries and commercialization in the emerging fields of nanotechnology, Li-ion supercapacitors, and 2D materials.

As Director of the Carbon Nanomaterials Laboratory for Renewable Energy and Multi-functional Composites, Yu has worked on applications using graphene for the past decade. She is now exploring a new process called “high entropy” on a group of 2D materials, such as MXene. The hope is to invent novel types of MXene and further investigate new properties of these cutting-edge 2D materials for utilization in energy storage and hydrogen production.

Yu is also researching polymer composites which have direct industry applications for making products either stronger and corrosion resistant or conductive for EMI shielding.

“This award is meaningful because it recognizes my contribution to combining nanomaterials, especially past work on graphene with engineering applications”, said Yu “I feel encouraged to continue my fundamental research on new nanomaterials.”

Yu credits Page Burton, Research and Awards Development Officer in the Faculty of Engineering for assistance in the process of receiving this award.

Yu feels the impact of receiving this award on many levels. Personally, she is encouraged to continue her work exploring new 2D materials. Professionally, she looks forward to expanding to higher-level research in her field. She also feels that the award signifies recognition on a broader level of the research being conducted at the University of Waterloo in the area of nanomaterials. Research in nanotechnology conducted at the University of Waterloo will have a significant impact on Canadian industry.

Referring to the 2022 Rutherford Medal winners RSC President Jeremy McNeil commented, “These individuals are outstanding scholars who have made exceptional contributions, both nationally and internationally, in their respective fields.”

Yu will receive her award in November during the RSC Celebration of Excellence and Engagement in Calgary.

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