2015 Foresight Institute Distinguished Student Award

Winner of 2015 Award Announced

Presentation of Distinguished Student Award to Chuyang Cheng
2015 Award winner Chuyang Chen (center) of Northwestern University receiving the 2015 Foresight Institute Distinguished Student Award from Foresight Chief Operating Officer & Treasurer Steve Burgess (left) and Foresight President Julia Bossmann (right).

Northwestern Lands Another Foresight Distinguished Student Award Winner

The Foresight Institute has announced that the winner of the 2015 Distinguished Student Award is Chuyang Cheng, a PhD student with Professor Fraser Stoddart in the Chemistry Department at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. This selection marks the second time a graduate student with Professor Stoddart has been chosen for the Foresight Distinguished Student Award in Nanotechnology.

Chuyang ChengChuyang’s first project in Prof. Stoddart’s group involved the design and synthesis of what turned out to be a new class of macrocycles, opening up a new avenue of nanoscience based on large rings, and earning VIP article status from the editor of Chemistry – A European Journal. Introduced to the topic of molecular machines through attendance at the 2013 Foresight Conference: “Illuminating Atomic Precision,” Chuyang originated the idea to use the inversion of interactions between viologen and cyclobis(paraquat-p-phenylene) under different redox conditions to make artificial molecular pumps. He was able to drive his system away-from-equilibrium by pumping macrocycles energetically uphill — one of the fundamental requirements for the operation of a molecular motor. This work was published as a communication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Chuyang Cheng, Stoddart Mechanostereochemistry Group

This prize is generously supported by Dr. James Ellenbogen, Ravi Pandya, and James Von Ehr, II.

for the college undergraduate or graduate student
whose work in nanotechnology is deemed most notable

Submissions/nominations were due November 30, 2015
Winner to be announced in mid 2016

The student should not have received their PhD before February 2016.

Submissions/nominations instructions for 2015

The award includes a $1,000 prize, and an expenses-paid trip to the 2016 Foresight Energy Workshop.

Foresight Institute is a leading think tank and public interest organization focused on transformative future technologies. Founded in 1986, its mission is to discover and promote the benefits, and help avoid the dangers, of nanotechnology, AI, biotech, and similar life-changing developments.

Foresight is devoted to stimulating the development of atomically precise nanotechnology that will truly transform our future, from medicine to the environment to space settlement. We bring that vision and goal to new audiences, including inspiring young researchers. More information about the Foresight Institute, the Foresight workshop series, and the Distinguished Student Award, may be found at http://www.foresight.org, or by contacting [email protected].

Relevant Research Areas

Research areas considered relevant to molecular nanotechnology and molecular manufacturing include but are not limited to:

  • artificial molecular machines
  • atomically-precise construction
  • biomolecular machinery
  • computational chemistry and molecular modeling
  • mechanosynthesis
  • nanomechanical engineering
  • nanomanipulation
  • natural molecular machines
  • scanning probes and nanometrology
  • self-assembly
  • self-replicating machines
  • supramolecular chemistry
  • ultra-precision machining

Special consideration will be given to submissions clearly leading toward the construction of a general-purpose molecular assembler. Applicants wishing further information on the field of the prize are referred to the book Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation (Wiley Interscience, 1992).

Distinguished Student Award Established in 1997

The Foresight Institute Distinguished Student Award was established in 1997 and institutionalizes the first grant made in 1996 by Foresight to John M. Michelsen, a University of California at Irvine chemistry student.

Either submit your own work or nominate a colleague who deserves this prize.

Foresight Institute Distinguished Student Award Instructions for 2015.

Previously awarded Distinguished Student Awards