FSU chemistry professor wins prestigious women in science award

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Yan-Yan Hu
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Yan-Yan Hu

A Florida State University chemistry professor has won a prestigious award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science that recognizes promising female scientists in the early stages of their career.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Yan-Yan Hu will receive the 2017 Marion Milligan Mason Award along with $50,000 to help fund her research endeavors. The other four awardees are from Duke University, University of Texas at Austin, Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University.

“It was such a surprise and honor,” Hu said. “And I think it’s a tribute to all my colleagues at Florida State University and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory who have welcomed, guided and supported my research group and me. I’m at the best place with the best resources and best people for what we do.”

Hu was hired by Florida State University in 2014 as part of a cluster of faculty dedicated to studying energy and materials. She focuses on fundamental chemistry that is critical to energy conversion and storage technologies.

She plans to use the award to help fund some of her graduate students as they pursue research on interface chemistry of organic-inorganic composite materials for energy and health.

In addition to outlining the research proposal, Hu received nomination letters from FSU Associate Vice President of Research Ross Ellington, Department of Chemistry Chair Tim Logan, Professor of Chemistry Alan Marshall and University of Cambridge Professor Clare Grey.

In his nomination letter, Ellington wrote Hu’s work ethic was “beyond reproach” and said she was the “poster child” for the university’s energy and materials initiative due to her close collaboration with other experts in the Department of Chemistry and at the MagLab.

Logan added that Hu was an “outstanding young scientist.”

“She is an exemplary role model for women in science and actively mentors female undergraduate and graduate students through FSU’s Women in Math, Science and Engineering program,” Logan said. “We are extremely pleased to have someone of her caliber on our faculty.”

Hu will accept her award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., in December.