Yuanheng (Henry) Wang, an undergraduate student in Professor Renske van der Veen’s lab, earned the 2019 ACS Undergraduate Award in Physical Chemistry for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Henry was selected by his department for this award by demonstrating excellence in physical chemistry based on research, coursework and dedication. As part of the award, he will receive a free one-year membership in the ACS Division of Physical Chemistry, as well as recognition on the ACS Physical Chemistry Division’s website and an official certificate from ACS.
The purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding achievements by undergraduate students in physical chemistry, and to encourage further pursuits in the field.
Van der Veen's group employs pump-probe methods to track the atomic-scale structural dynamics in light-sensitive materials. One particular technique they use is ultrafast X-ray absorption spectroscopy at synchrotron facilities. As part of her group, Henry has been working on the theoretical description of ultrafast light-induced processes in heterostructured nanomaterials relevant for solar energy conversion.
"Henry has done an impressive job with developing and using theoretical codes to describe the X-ray spectra and the light-induced changes we see therein. I am proud of Henry to receive the 2019 ACS Undergraduate Award in Physical Chemistry, which recognizes his achievements in research over the last 2 years." said van der Veen.