NSE graduate student Yan Chen has been selected to receive a Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future fellowship. Launched by the Schlumberger Foundation in 2004, the Faculty for the Future fellowship was established to support women role models for the next generation. The fellowships are awarded to women from developing and emerging economies who are preparing for overseas PhD or post-doctoral study in the physical sciences and related disciplines at top universities for their disciplines.
The long-term goal of the Program is to generate conditions that result in more women pursuing scientific disciplines. Grant recipients are therefore selected as much for their leadership capabilities as for their scientific talents, and they are expected to return to their home countries to continue their academic careers and inspire other young women.
At MIT Chen is working with NSE Professor Bilge Yildiz to understand the correlation between the electronic structures of perovskite oxide surfaces and the oxygen reduction reactivity at the cathodes of solid oxide fuel cells. Chen uses the most advanced material characterization methods to study how the surface electronic structure varies from the bulk in the presence of cation segregation and the hetero-interface, and how such variation impacts the oxygen reduction activity. The information obtained from this study can be used to guide the design of materials with high catalytic activity and low cost for the large scale implementation of energy conversion and storage systems.
The Faculty for the Future community now stands at 405 women from 68 countries, and grows steadily each year.
Chen is also one of four MIT students awarded the Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad. Kailiang Chen (EECS), Lei Dai (Physics), and Wenlan Chen (Physics) also received the award this year. These awards were established in 2003 by the China Scholarship Council (CSC) to encourage research excellence and to recognize the achievements of Chinese students abroad.