Professor Receives Young Scientist Honor

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David Kisailus, an associate professor of chemical engineering, is named a Kavli Fellow by members of National Academy of Sciences

By Sean Nealon on April 9, 2014

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David Kisailus sits in front of an aquarium in his lab.

David Kisailus, an associate professor of chemical engineering, Riverside, in his lab. Photo credit: Carlos Puma

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — David Kisailus, the Winston Chung Endowed Chair of Energy Innovation at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering, has been named a Kavli Fellow.

Kavli Fellows are young scientists selected by the advisory board of the Kavli Foundation, members of the National Academy of Sciences and organizers of the Kavli/National Academy of Sciences Frontiers in Science Symposia series. The Kavli Foundation, which is based in Oxnard, supports scientific research, honors scientific achievement, and promotes public understanding of scientists and their work.

Kisailus, an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering who is also part of the Materials Science and Engineering Program, works in a field called biomimetics.

He studies a number of structures of various invertebrates, primarily marine animals, and replicates that structure on a smaller scale to create lighter, stronger and more durable materials. He has worked with animals including the mantis shrimp, abalone and gumboot chiton to improve everything from solar cells and lithium-ion batteries to aircraft and vehicle frames to body armor and football helmets.

Kisailus presented his work, “From Nature to Engineering: Biomimetic and Bio-inspired Materials,” at the 19th German-American Kavli Frontiers in Science Symposium on April 4th at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Science and Engineering in Irvine.

The German-American Frontiers of Science, under the auspices of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, has become a major instrument in bringing together the best young researchers in the natural sciences and engineering fields from the United States and around the world.

Since 1989, the Academy has organized annual symposia on Frontiers of Science. These symposia bring together top young scientists to discuss advances and opportunities in their fields. At each symposium, about 25 young scientists report on current research within their disciplines.

Since its inception, 136 program “alumni” have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and eight have won Nobel Prizes.

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