As Canada’s largest nanotechnology institute, committed to United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) actively celebrates emerging leaders in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology. These individuals from across the globe whose research aligns with one or more of our thematic areas and the UN SDGs are eligible for the WIN Rising Star Award in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. This year's recipients are Professor Babak Anasori from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, USA and Professor Cao Thang Dinh, Queen's University, Canada.
Professor Babak Anasori, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Professor Babak Anasori received his Ph.D. at Drexel University in 2014 in the Materials Science and Engineering Department, the birthplace of MXenes. Before joining Purdue School of Engineering & Technology, he was a Research Assistant Professor at the A.J. Drexel Nanomaterials Institute and Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University from 2016 to 2019. Babak is one of the inventors of a family of MXenes, ordered double-transition metal MXenes, as a result of his postdoctoral research, which was featured as one of the 2015's "biggest moments in chemistry" by the American Chemical Society.
Professor Anasori's current research focuses on the synthesis and characterizations of novel MXenes and their metal and ceramic composites. He is one of the top five trending authors in the field of Materials Science and Nanotechnology in the world (Microsoft Academic) and among the Global Highly Cited Researchers 2019, 2020, and 2021 recognized by the Web of Science. Professor Anasori has received several national and international awards and recognition for his research and artistic way of presenting science, including NSF/Science Visualization Challenge in 2011 and 2013, Diamond ranking in ACerS Graduate Excellence in Materials Science (GEMS) in 2012, Materials Research Society (MRS) Postdoctoral Award in 2016, Emerging Leaders of 2020 by the Journal of Physics, Condensed Matter, and Drexel Forty-under-Forty in 2021. Professor Anasori has originated and organized multiple international student competitions, including NanoArtography and Science in Video (SciVid) in the MRS Fall Meetings. He is currently the chair of the Early Careers Subcommittee of the Materials Research Society (MRS).
Professor Cao Thang Dinh, Queen's University
Professor Cao Thang Dinh received his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Laval University in 2010 and 2014, respectively. His graduate work focused on designing visible-light-driven nanostructured photocatalysts for water splitting and the decomposition of organic pollutants. After receiving his doctorate, Cao joined Sargent’s group at the University of Toronto as a postdoctoral fellow. Here, he focused on developing catalysts and systems for the conversion of carbon dioxide to fuels and chemicals using renewable energy. Cao began his independent career in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Queen’s University in July of 2019.
Professor Dinh's research group develops technologies for conversion of carbon dioxide, air and water into valuable chemicals and fuels using renewable energy. Their goal is to provide solutions for fossil-fuel-free energy and chemical industry. Currently, they are working on developing high performance electrochemical devices for the conversion of carbon dioxide into valuable chemicals such as ethylene, ethanol and propanol. To achieve these goals, they focus on two major areas: (i) electrode design, and (ii) reactor design and system integration.