Prof. Renske van der Veen is the recipient of a Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering for 2018.
The prestigious fellowship from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation provides $875,000 over five years for an early-career faculty member to pursue research. The Packard Fellowship, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, goes a long way toward boosting a faculty member’s career. Many Packard Fellows have gone on to receive other significant awards, including the Nobel Prize. Most importantly, the fellowship allows young faculty to think big and make groundbreaking discoveries that would not have been possible without the flexible funding.
Van der Veen came to Illinois in 2015 as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, and is also affiliated with the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Her research focuses on the development of materials that can efficiently convert and store energy from the sun and nanomaterials that can rapidly switch between two states, allowing them to be used in data storage devices. She develops new ultrafast microscopy techniques to visualize what is happening on a trillionth-of-a-second time scale.
Chemistry department head Martin Gruebele notes that the honor “demonstrates the high regard the scientific community places in Renske’s work in ultrafast imaging and dynamics of complex materials.”
This is the third year in a row that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has received a Science and Engineering Fellowship from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation: Pinshane Huang of Materials Science and Engineering was awarded in 2017, and Ryan Foley of Astronomy (now at UC Santa Cruz) in 2016.
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