Professor Kytai Nguyen Winner of First Materials Today Embracing Challenge Award

Professor of Bioengineering recognised for the personal challenges she overcame to undertake ground breaking research in nanomaterials

Oxford, September 21, 2016

Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, has announced that Professor Kytai Nguyen is the winner of the first Materials Today Embracing Challenge Award. Prof. Nguyen was given the award for the personal challenges she overcame to make a significant contribution to nano-materials research and education.

The Materials Today Embracing Challenge Award aims to recognize researchers in the field of materials science and engineering who have overcome difficult circumstances to pursue their research career, however early or advanced, and are contributing meaningful insights in their particular field of investigation. Difficult circumstances may include challenges arising from gender, socioeconomic background, ethnicity/culture, disability, and/or the local economic environment.

The Materials Science Council, chaired by Professor Subra Suresh, former Director of the NSF and current President of Carnegie Mellon University, selected the winner based on her achievements and the challenges she overcame in realising these achievements. The prize includes USD $5,000 and all-expenses-paid attendance at the award reception.

The Council were impressed with the way Prof. Nguyen overcame several challenges during her formative years including her difficult upbringing in Vietnam, and the challenges she faced when she studied in the US while learning English and working several jobs to support her studies. Most recently, she managed to successfully balance family life with an active research and teaching career.

Prof. Nguyen will receive her award on Tuesday, November 29 at a special reception during the Materials Research Society Fall Meeting in Boston, USA.

“I am truly honored to receive the Materials Today Embracing Challenge Award,” said Prof. Nguyen about her recognition. “I am grateful for the help that I received from my family, mentors, students and colleagues at the University of Texas at Arlington. There are many opportunities out there for young scientists that can be attainable even though there may be challenges in your life. Trust yourself, persevere through your challenges, and use your inner determination and strength to seek your own success.”

“Kytai’s story really stood out from the nominations, and the Materials Science Council were unanimous in their decision to award her,” said Subra Suresh, chair of the Materials Science Council and President of Carnegie Mellon University. “Not only has she been a pioneer in the development of nanoparticles for controlled drug delivery and tissue engineering application but she achieved this having overcome substantial obstacles throughout all of the formative stages of her life and career. We hope that this award will inspire other researchers who are facing challenges to see what can be achieved when working in and overcoming difficult circumstances.”

Nominations for the 2017 edition of the Materials Today Embracing Challenge Award are now open. Applications can be submitted until February 28, 2017.

Read more on Elsevier Connect.


Notes to editors
Reporters wishing to attend the award ceremony on November 29 in Boston, or who would like to interview Prof. Nguyen can contact Joe d’Angelo:

About the Materials Science Council
Commencing in 2014, the Materials Science Council is undertaking a range of activities with Elsevier to help support the research community in three ways: supporting the sharing and communication of scientific information and data through new technology platforms and pathways; helping researchers communicate the importance of materials science to the general public; and rewarding researchers, particularly those working in difficult conditions or in countries with limited infrastructure.

About Materials Today
Materials Today is a community dedicated to the creation and sharing of materials science knowledge and experience. Supported by Elsevier, we publish high impact peer-reviewed journals and industry magazines, organize academic conferences, broadcast educational webinars and much more.

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Media contacts
Joe d’Angelo

Herb Booth
UT Arlington
+1 817 272 7075