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

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March 11, 2019 – Two researchers in the University of Maryland (UMD) Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) were selected to receive the 2019 Outstanding Young Scientist (OYS) and Outstanding Young Engineer (OYE) awards. The recipients will be honored at a ceremony at the Maryland Science Center on Wednesday, May 8.

MSE Assistant Professor, Yifei Mo, was named this year’s winner of the Outstanding Young Scientist Award. Mo is theoretical scientist who wield 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 Nature, Nature 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.

MSE Lecturer, Jason Hattrick-Simpers, received the Outstanding Young Engineer 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 – a materials research engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology – is also an outstanding researcher at the vanguard of the emerging Materials Genome Initiative paradigm, which will enable a sea-change in the way materials research development and manufacturing will be carried out. He has been awarded three patents and has delivered about 40 invited talks and seminars. He is the Associate Editor of ACS Combinatorial Science.

About the Awards

Established in 1959, the OYS and OYE awards recognize young Maryland residents who have distinguished themselves with accomplishments in science and engineering. The nominations are open to scientists and engineers 35 years old or younger working in academia and 40 or younger working in other sectors. Award recipients are chosen by members of the Maryland Academy of Sciences’ Scientific Advisory Council.

“These awards are an annual reminder that Maryland is home to amazing young scientific and engineering talent, as well as the notable institutions that host and empower them,” said Mark J. Potter, President and CEO of the Maryland Science Center. “The 2019 OYE/OYS honorees are an inspiration to the next generation of STEM pioneers, as well as anyone who seeks to make the world a better place through hard work, determination and collaboration.”

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


Published March 11, 2019