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RPI’s Shi Wins Air Force Young Investigator Award

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Jian Shi, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), has won a Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) award from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).

Jian ShiShi will use the three-year, $450,000 grant to pursue fundamental research on nanoscale complex materials that could lead to the development of next-generation resilient and high-performance energy conversion and sensing technologies. The YIP is awarded to scientists and engineers who have received a Ph.D. or an equivalent degree in the last five years and who show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research.

With a broad research interest in materials science, Shi focuses on a fundamental understanding of atomic scale symmetry science and engineering of low-dimensional electronic and optical materials; adaptive electronics and optics; and materials engineering for energy transformation. He and his research group will use the grant to pursue fundamental research on nanoscale complex materials involving electronic symmetry-breaking and hybrid-domain physics.

"One focus of this program will be studying how a material's electrical property changes when a large pressure gradient is applied, i.e., flexoelectricity," said Shi. "This is an important subject, as the fundamental understanding obtained here could lead to the development of ultraefficient or ultrasensitive thermal-related technologies, such as high-performance, uncooled infrared sensors."

Shi joined the RPI faculty in 2014 after doing postdoctoral work at Harvard University. He earned his Ph.D. in materials science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2012, his master's in mechanical engineering at the University of Missouri at Columbia in 2008, and his bachelor's in materials science and engineering at Xi'an Jiaotong University in 2006.

AFOSR invests in basic research efforts to support U.S. Air Force goals of control and maximum utilization of air, space, and cyberspace.

Photonics Spectra
Jun 2018
BusinessJian ShiRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteYoung Investigator AwardAir Force Office of Scientific ResearchAmericasdefenseeduationEDUlight speed

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