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Engineering’s Vicky Doan-Nguyen earns ORAU Powe Award recognizing early career research

Vicky Doan-Nguyen, an assistant professor in the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, has earned a 2018 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) in recognition of her research accomplishments and career potential.

Dean David B. Williams presents Assistant Professor Vicky Doan-Nguyen with her award plaque from ORAU.Doan-Nguyen is one of just 36 recipients nationwide to earn the prestigious award, which provides seed funding to enhance the research and professional growth of junior faculty at ORAU member institutions. Each winner receives a one-year, $5,000 research grant from ORAU, which is matched by the faculty member’s institution. Winners were competitively selected from among 159 faculty applications.

Doan-Nguyen joined Ohio State in 2017 as part of the Discovery Themes’ Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability Initiative. As part of the Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis, her cross-cutting research includes synthesis, in-situ structural characterization and functional testing of smart materials as well as advanced materials for energy storage and conversion.

For her Powe Award project, Doan-Nguyen will collaborate with researchers from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory to examine controlled rapid synthesis, advanced characterization across multiple length scales and functional testing of sulfide-based solid electrolytes for safer batteries.

“We are targeting solid-state superionic conductors that are competitive with current liquid electrolytes. The solid-state electrolytes are less flammable and can maintain high ionic conductivity over a wider range of temperatures,” she said.

Her research group aims to use their expertise in materials synthesis and characterization to explain structure-property relations for a new class of superionic conductors that consists of sustainable, earth-abundant elements.

“By controlling chemical composition and structure of the solid electrolytes, we can design next generation safer batteries with longer cycle life,” said Doan-Nguyen.

by Meggie Biss, College of Engineering Communications | biss.11@osu.edu