Former MSE graduate Paul Braun receives prestigious award

Paul Braun

Professor Paul V. Braun (Cornell MSE BS’93) was recently named the Ivan Racheff Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Professor Paul Braun joined the University of Illinois faculty in 1999, with a primary appointment in Materials Science and Engineering, and now has additional faculty affiliations with Chemistry, Mechanical Sciences and Engineering, the Materials Research Laboratory, the Beckman Institute, and the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory.  Professor Braun earned his B.S. degree with distinction from Cornell University in 1993 and his Ph.D. in 1998 from the University of Illinois, both in Materials Science and Engineering.  From 1998 to 1999, Professor Braun was a postdoctoral scientist at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies.

Professor Braun is an internationally recognized leader in the areas of materials synthesis and self-assembly, with over 125 publications and 100 invited presentations.  He has founded two companies based on his discoveries.  His research melds modern concepts in materials synthesis, self-assembly, and 3D fabrication to generate materials with unique optical, electrochemical, thermal, and mechanical properties.  By developing new methods to form matter into unique 3D structures, he creates materials with properties not otherwise available and develops understandings of materials behavior previously unknown.  He works across all the major classes of materials with a focus on using molecular and mesoscale structure to drive the emergence of new properties which address important societal needs.  Recent discoveries from Professor Braun’s group include ultra-high power density rechargeable batteries, the first optoelectronically active 3D photonic crystal, a new class of self-healing coatings, and materials with unique thermal properties.

He is the recipient of the Young Alumnus Award of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (2011), the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2010), the Stanley H. Pierce Faculty Award from the College of Engineering (2010), Robert Lansing Hardy Award from TMS (2002), Beckman Young Investigator Award (2001), Xerox Award for Faculty Research from the College of Engineering (2004, 2009), and multiple 3M Nontenured Faculty Awards and teaching honors from the College and University of Illinois.  In 2006, he was named a University Scholar by the University of Illinois.  In 2011, he was the co-chair of the Fall Meeting of the Materials Research Society.

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