Dr. Younjin Min, an assistant professor in the Department of Polymer Engineering at The University of Akron, will receive the 2016 Early Career Award from the Polymer Processing Society. This award recognizes productivity of early career researchers in the field of polymer processing as judged from their publications, patents and service to the PPS. Nominees include tenured/tenure-track faculty members, postdoctoral researchers and researchers working in industry or national laboratories within six years of receiving their Ph.D. degree at the time of nomination.
Min, who joined UA in 2012, will receive this award in Lyon, France, during the 32nd International Conference of the Polymer Processing Society, scheduled July 25-29. She is also a recipient of other prestigious awards, including the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation Scholarship and the Schlinger Scholarship for Excellence in Chemical Engineering Research, and the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator Award.
The overarching aim of Min's current research is to obtain a fundamental understanding of soft materials at the molecular level, with a specific goal of utilizing such knowledge to advance nanotechnology and biotechnology through rational design and processing. One of her current research projects deals with nanorheology and associated-intermolecular interactions that are of both fundamental and practical importance in areas of such as friction and lubrication, flow of multicomponent systems (e.g. polymer blends and nanocomposite materials), and polymer processing operations.
Another focus of Min's lab is on biopolymer process engineering to derive and/or modify natural resources such as silk and mussel protein polymers. Through this approach, her group has developed novel functional materials such as shear-thickening materials, transparent polymeric films, implantable polymer microneedles and electrospun core-shell fibers that are important in the health-care and optical applications.
Her research has culminated in 25 published journal articles in such journals as Nature Materials, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Nano Letters.
The PPS Early Career Award was established in 2015 from the proceeds of PPS-30, the 30th International Conference of The Polymer Processing Society held in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2014.