2016 Foresight Institute Distinguished Student Award

Winner of 2016 Award Announced

Presentation of Distinguished Student Prize to Conrad Pfeiffer
Foresight Treasurer & COO, Steve Burgess (left) with Conrad Pfeiffer (center), and Julia Bossmann, Foresight President & CEO

Temple University Student Wins Foresight Distinguished Student Award

The Foresight Institute Distinguished Student Prize is awarded each year to the college undergraduate or graduate student whose work in nanotechnology is considered most notable in advancing the development and understanding of nanotechnology. This prize is generously supported by Dr. James Ellenbogen, Ravi Pandya, and James Von Ehr, II.

Conrad Pfeiffer, a Ph.D. student with Professor Christian Schafmeister in the Chemistry Department at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, won the 2016 Distinguished Student Prize. He has synthesized shape-programmable macrocycles (molecular rings) that resemble stiff triangles and rectangles, and that are to be developed as channels for assembling atomically precise membranes for low energy, high flux, and highly selective separations. These macrocycles act as receptors for smaller molecules. These are important steps toward the development of a universal molecular scaffold that would allow the systematic design, construction, and investigation of macromolecules that display chemical functionality in three-dimensional space. Such scaffolds will allow the design and synthesis of new catalysts, molecular sensors, and ultimately molecular machines.
Conrad Pfeiffer, Schafmeister Group at Temple University

About Foresight Institute

Foresight Institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation for world-changing technologies. For more information visit http://foresight.org.

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

Submissions/nominations were due August 22, 2016
Winner was announced October 3, 2016

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

Submissions/nominations instructions for 2016

The Foresight Distinguished Student Award was established in 1997, and is given to a college student or graduate student whose work is notable in the field of nanotechnology. The award includes a $1,000 prize, and an expenses-paid trip to the October 2016 Foresight Workshop. The prizewinner must accept in person at the award ceremony. The prizewinner will receive complimentary full registration including reception, coach airfare and up to 2 nights hotel (arranged by Foresight Institute, Sat. night stay may be required), and the physical award.

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 technical conference, 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

Previously awarded Distinguished Student Awards