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2023 ACS Global Outstanding Graduate Student and Mentor Award Announced

The purpose of the ACS Global Outstanding Graduate Student and Mentor Award is to disseminate globally the latest knowledge of polymer research and to recognize at the ACS National Meeting not just two winning students, one from the USA and one from anywhere in the world, but also their mentors. Sponsored by Chemical Marketing & Economics, Inc. (CME), the awards, which are co-organized by CME and the Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE) Division of the American Chemical Society, recognize graduate students within one year of graduation or a recent graduate who has completed an outstanding thesis in polymer research accepted by a university during the three-year period prior to January 1 of the award year.  PMSE and CME are proud to announce this year’s winners: Dr. Alexandra Easley, advised by Prof. Jodie Lutkenhaus of Texas A&M University, and Dr. Timur Ashirov, advised by Prof. Ali Coskun of the University of Fribourg.

ACS Global Outstanding Graduate Student
Dr. Alexandra Easley
Texas A&M Universit
y, now Cornell University

Alexandra Easley received her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Texas A&M University, where she worked with Jodie Lutkenhaus as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (NSF GRFP). Her PhD research focused on the fundamental properties and applications of non-conjugated polymers for energy storage. Prior to graduate school, she obtained her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Texas A&M University. She is currently a Klarman postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University advised by Brett Fors.

ACS Global Outstanding Mentor
Professor Jodie Lutkenhaus
Texas A&M University

Jodie L. Lutkenhaus is holder of the Axalta Chair in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University. Lutkenhaus received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 2002 from The University of Texas at Austin and her Ph.D in Chemical Engineering in 2007 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Current research areas include polyelectrolytes, redox-active polymers, energy storage, and composites. She has received recognitions including World Economic Forum Young Scientist, Kavli Fellow, NSF CAREER, AFOSR Young Investigator, and the 3M Non-tenured Faculty Award. She is the past-Chair of the AICHE Materials Engineering & Sciences Division. Lutkenhaus is the Deputy Editor of ACS Applied Polymer Materials and a member of the U.S. National Academies Board of Chemical Sciences & Technology.

ACS Global Outstanding Graduate Student
Timur Ashirov
University of Fribourg

Dr. Timur Ashirov was born in Tajikistan and obtained his B.Sc. from the Department of Chemistry at Middle East Technical University, Turkey. He obtained his M.Sc. degree from the Materials Science Department of Bilkent University. Later, he joined the group of Prof. Ali Coskun at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland for his Ph.D. studies (2018). He developed adsorptive gas separation membranes and porous polymers during his Ph.D. to tackle environmental challenges such as global warming and air pollution. Moreover, he also showed light-switchable gas separation using polymeric carbon nitride for the first time. Timur has also received the prestigious 2022 Swiss Nanotechnology Ph.D. Award for his thesis. Recently, Dr. Ashirov received a Bride Proof-of-Concept grant to scale up adsorptive membranes for CO2 capture from air and flue gas, helium purification, and hydrogen recovery and is currently, working to establish his own startup.

ACS Global Outstanding Mentor
Professor Ali Coskun
University of Fribourg

Professor Ali Coskun was born in Isparta, Turkey, in 1979. He received his PhD degree in Chemistry at the Middle East Technical University. Afterwards, he did his postdoctoral research at Northwestern University with Prof. Fraser Stoddart. In 2012, he started his independent career at the Graduate School of EEWS and the Department of Chemistry at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). In 2017, he moved to University Fribourg, Switzerland as a Professor. He is currently developing porous organic polymers for CO2 capture, separation and conversion, and Li-ion batteries and also polymeric binders for silicon anodes. His research efforts have been recently recognized by Swiss Green and Sustainable Chemistry 2023 award.