A 2020 graduate in the Department of Chemistry, David Qiu has been awarded the 2020 American Chemical Society’s Undergraduate Award in Physical Chemistry for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The ACS Division of Physical Chemistry started the undergraduate award in 2017 to recognize and honor talented young chemists across the country.
As an undergraduate researcher, Qiu worked in Professor Prashant Jain’s research group and in Professor So Hirata’s group. He worked on research that involved calculating the energies of molecular dimers using a novel theory forwarded by the Hirata group, termed Monte Carlo Perturbation Theory. Qiu said this has extensive application in the pharmaceutical industry, where these interaction energies between molecules often dictate their mechanism.
At 18 years old, Qiu not only started and finished his bachelor's degree at an early age, but he also finished in just two years. He said he would like to start his own business some day and appreciates this award.
"It means a lot to me, because I appreciate the recognition for my efforts," he said. “I hope it can help me advance my career further in the future and prove my ability to learn."