The University of South Dakota has awarded its prestigious
President’s Research Award to two faculty members in chemistry
and one in physics. USD President James W. Abbott, who
presented each of the winners with a $3,000 grant and a plaque,
said that research is an essential component of USD’s mission
and one of the many ways USD contributes to the economic
development of the state.
This year’s winners were reviewed based on research
accomplishments, including criteria such as publications,
presentations and maintenance of the present program. Awards
were given in three categories: Research Excellence for Early-Mid
Career Faculty, Research Excellence for Established Faculty and
Research Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
The President’s Award for Research Excellence for Early-Mid
Career Faculty went to Haoran Sun, Ph.D., assistant professor
in the Department of Chemistry. Sun’s main interests are energy
conversion and drug development. His research involves students
and helps them gain practical experience in synthesis, separation
and characterization of various materials. Recently, Sun’s lithium
battery project was funded by NASA in collaboration with
SDSM&T and SDSU. Sun also has two patents pending.
The President’s Award for Research Excellence for
Established Faculty was awarded to Dongming Mei, Ph.D.,
associate professor in the Department of Physics. Mei came to
USD in 2006. His research is primarily based on underground
nuclear and particle physics in search of rare physics processes,
but he is also enthusiastic about astronomy and group theory
for particle physics. Mei is currently director of the Center for
Ultra-low Background Experiments at Dakota (CUBED) and
works closely with the Sanford Underground Research Facility
(SURF). He is also a leader of a diverse group of researchers that
collaborates with many institutions around the country.
The President’s Award for Research Innovation &
Entrepreneurship was presented to Stanley May, Ph.D., a
professor in the Department of Chemistry. May focuses on
the synthesis and characterization of novel light-emitting
materials and their applications to sensing, solar energy
conversion and biomedical applications, and he published a
paper on the topic in
The Journal of Physical Chemistry.
is currently involved in several large research programs: The
Northern Plains Undergraduate Research Center (NPURC),
Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program:
“Photodynamics and Materials at the Nanoscale,” Photo-
Activated Nanoscale Systems (PANS) and Security Printing
and Anti-counterfeiting Center.
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