Yushan Yan elected to the National Academy of Engineering

Yushan Yan, a professor of engineering at the University of Delaware and an expert in electrochemical engineering for sustainability, received one of the highest professional honors in his field upon his recent election to the National Academy of Engineering.

Yan is the ninth current College of Engineering faculty member to receive this prestigious recognition, which he earned for “creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship in separation membranes and reaction engineering.” electrochemicals, catalysis and materials”.

“This well-deserved recognition from the National Academy of Engineers is testament to the true impact and excellence of Yushan’s contributions to the field of chemical engineering and sustainable electrochemical systems,” said Dean Levi Thompson, who was elected to the NAE in 2021. “I am incredibly proud and honored to be a colleague of talented engineers like Yushan. This tremendous recognition shows how faculty, students, and staff at the University and College of Engineering are helping to make the world a better place.

Yan, the Henry Belin du Pont Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the College, is among 111 new members and 22 international members inducted into the NAE this year, including Tesla’s Elon Musk. There are now 2,388 U.S. members and 310 international members of the NAE, which aims to “advance the nation’s well-being and prosperity by providing independent advice on matters involving engineering and technology, and by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and public appreciation of engineering.” Yan and other members of the newly elected class will be formally inducted at the NAE Annual Meeting on October 2, 2022.

“It’s an incredible honor,” Yan said. “Above all, I would like to thank my students and postdocs of the past 20+ years who trusted me enough to join my group and taught me everything I know about electrochemical engineering, catalysis and materials. I am also grateful to my wife of 30 years for her unconditional support, my collaborators for sharing their knowledge and the various organizations for the funding they have provided. I am touched by this NAE election and am indebted to many friends who trusted me more than myself.

Most of Yan’s work has focused on electrochemical systems for sustainability or finding chemical solutions to combat climate change. In the race to reach “net zero,” a term used to describe a world where industry produces zero net emissions, innovative approaches like Yan’s work will be needed as industries shift to alternative energy sources. more renewable. His group’s work on fuel cell technology ultimately resulted in a new family of polymers that can be used in fuel cells, green hydrogen generation and carbon capture. One of his latest projects involves using hydrogen to capture carbon dioxide from the air to aid in environmentally friendly fuel cells. He has also worked extensively with zeolite membranes.

Yan joined the UD faculty in 2011 and served as the founding Associate Dean for Research and Entrepreneurship at the University. He has been an inventor on over 20 issued patents and his over 250 publications have been cited tens of thousands of times. He is also the founder and CEO of Versogen, a Wilmington-based startup born out of Yan’s lab at UD.

“Yushan is an inspiring leader in the development of electrochemical processes to solve some of the grand challenges in sustainability and energy,” said Eric Furst, chairman of the chemical and biomolecular engineering department. “He is a pioneer in electrochemical reaction engineering and widely recognized for his work analyzing the performance and technical economics of electrochemical reactors such as fuel cells, electrolyzers and flow batteries. In recent years, he has developed novel polymer electrolytes and electrocatalysts for world-record reactor performance and advanced the mechanistic understanding of electrocatalytic reactions of both fundamental and technological importance.

Yan studied chemical physics at the University of Science and Technology of China and heterogeneous catalysis at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He received his master’s and doctorate degrees in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. Prior to UD, Yan served as Department Chair at University of California Riverside and Senior Engineer/Project Manager at AlliedSignal. His honors include University Scholar Professor at the University of California Riverside, Presidential Chair at the University of California, Distinguished Engineering Professor at the University of Delaware, Donald Breck Award from the International Zeolite Association, RH Wilhelm Award for Reaction Engineering, Braskem Award for Excellence in Materials Science and Engineering, and Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Carl Wagner Memorial Award and Energy Technology Division Research Award from the Electrochemical Society, Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Inventors and the Electrochemical Society.

Yan joins Dean Thompson and seven other UD faculty and distinguished faculty as NAE Fellows: Terry Papoutsakis, Unidel Eugene du Pont Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (2018); Norm Wagner, Unidel Robert L. Pigford Chair in Chemical Engineering (2015); Babatunde Ogunnaike, William L. Friend Professor of Chemical Engineering (2012); UD President Dennis Assanis, who is also a professor of mechanical engineering (2008); David L. Mills, Emeritus Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (2008); Dominic Di Toro, Edward C. Davis Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (2005); and Stanley Sandler, Henry Belin du Pont Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering (1996).

NAE UD alumni include Rakesh Agrawal, Class of 1977; Kurt B. Akeley, class of 1980; John L. Anderson, class of 1967; Arup K. Chakraborty, Class of 1989; Morton Collins, class of 1958; Arthur J. Coury, class of 1962; Thomas F. Degnan Jr., class of 1977; Richard E. Emmert, class of 1952; Arthur L. Goldstein, class of 1959; Teh C. Ho, class of 1977; Rakesh K. Jain, Class of 1976; Terri L. Kelly, Class of 1983 and Vice Chair of the UD Board of Trustees; Isaac C. Sanchez, class of 1969; and David F. Welch, Class of 1981.

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