UMD Researchers Receive 2019 Outstanding Young Scientist and Outstanding Young Engineer Awards

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Image provided by Ichiro Takeuchi. From left to right: Samuel Lofland (undergraduate advisor of Hattrick-Simpers), Ichiro Takeuchi (MSE Prof), Yifei Mo, Jason Hattrick-Simpers, Robert Briber (MSE Prof), and Martin Green (NIST group leader).

MSE Assistant Professor, Yifei Mo, was named this year’s winner of the Outstanding Young Scientist (OYS) Award. Mo is a theoretical scientist who wields the tools of quantum mechanics and the first principles calculations to tackle everyday problems, such as how long batteries can last in laptops and how to extract more electricity from solar cells.

Mo has spearheaded a new research group in computational modeling for advanced renewable energy materials, including next-generation fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries, making a mark as a preeminent materials scientist addressing the pressing issue of designing novel energy storage materials. His publications have appeared in the high profile journals including NatureNature Materials, and Nature Communications. Ten of his papers have been recognized by Web of Science as among the top 1% most cited papers in the entire field of materials science.

Jason Hattrick-Simpers - MSE Alum (Ph.D. '07) and Lecturer, and NIST Materials Research Engineer - received the Outstanding Young Engineer (OYE) award for his pioneering materials science research aimed at the optimization of properties and processing of novel materials through the integration of machine-learning, artificial intelligence and high-throughput experiment methodologies.

Several critical technologies are currently materials-limited, awaiting novel materials solutions for advancement. Hattrick-Simpers is also an outstanding researcher at the vanguard of the emerging Materials Genome Initiative, which will enable sea-change in the way materials research development and manufacturing will be carried out. He has three patents and has delivered 40 invited talks and seminars. Moreover, he is the ACS Combinatorial Science Associate Editor.

The two recipients were honored at a ceremony, sponsored by the Maryland Academy of Sciences, on May 8 at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore. 

For more information about the Outstanding Young Scientist and Engineer Awards, please visit:

Published May 13, 2019