UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Jiamian Hu, a postdoctoral research associate with Penn State’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MatSE), is the recipient of a Materials Research Society (MRS) Postdoctoral Award. The award will be presented at the 2015 MRS Fall Meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 2, held at the Sheraton Boston Hotel.
MRS Postdoctoral Awards recognize excellence in scientific research, leadership, advocacy, outreach or teaching, during a post-doctoral assignment. Hu’s award recognizes his “pioneering contributions to the theoretical understanding of strain-mediated electric-field-induced magnetization switching in magnetoelectric nanostructures and for designing prototypes of magnetoelectric devices.”
“It’s absolutely wonderful to have my work recognized in such a way. This is a great recognition for what I have done so far,” said Hu. “I feel quite lucky to be nominated, and I hope my theories and simulations could become more and more useful in the future.”
Hu conducts research under his postdoctoral adviser, Long-Qin Chen, Hamer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and professor of engineering science and mechanics and mathematics. Hu’s research focuses primarily on the design of functional nanocomposites, and he uses a technique known as phase-field modeling, a mathematical and computational modeling approach that focuses on the morphology, kinetics and effective properties of microstructures, such as domains, grains and dislocations. His research recognized by the MRS relates specifically to the use of electric fields, rather than heat-producing electric currents, to switch on and off magnetization. This research has the potential to cut heat loss and energy usage and can be applied to computers and other electronic devices relying on magnetization.
Hu received a bachelor of science degree in materials physics from Sichuan University, China, and a doctoral degree in materials science and engineering from Tsinghua University, China. During his doctoral studies, he was a visiting scholar with Penn State’s MatSE department, and he became a postdoctoral research associate with Penn State following the completion of his doctoral work in 2013. During his visit at Penn State, he received two other prestigious awards, a MRS graduate student Gold Medal (2011) and a Graduate Excellence in Materials Science Diamond award from the American Ceramic Society (2012). He served as an assistant instructor for a graduate-level course on the kinetics of materials processes (MatSE 503) and now serves as a reviewer for numerous peer-reviewed publications, including Nature Communications and Scientific Reports. He holds three Chinese patents and is the author of two book chapters and more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, including Nature Communications and Advanced Materials. He also participates in volunteer activities with several organizations, including serving as an MRS mentor and volunteering at Kids Day at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.