Katsuyo Thornton Receives NSF CAREER Award

Katsuyo Thornton Receives NSF CAREER Award

Assistant Professor Katsuyo Thornton

Katsuyo Thornton, an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering has been awarded the Early Faculty Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation for her research in three-dimensional (3D) materials science. Three-dimensional materials science is an emerging field in which complex structures within materials are fully examined in 3D rather than using the traditional approach of examining two-dimensional sections or surfaces. The 3D aspects are  especially important in the investigation of energy storage and conversion materials, in which processes at interfaces and junctions of different phases as well as the connectivity of bulk domains play a significant role in the overall properties and performance. This approach provides a rich foundation upon which simulations and experiments can be synergistically combined.

The CAREER Award is bestowed to “junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research.” Her proposal was titled “Integrated Research and Education Program in Three-Dimensional Materials Science and Visualization.”  She has received a five-year grant totaling $400,000 to support her research. Using the grant, she plans to develop new models to study colloidal assembly of materials for electrochemical energy storage, to identify key links between microstructures and efficient electrochemistry and transport, and to formulate new analysis and visualization methods for complex three-dimensional data. The funding will also be used to expand her current collaboration with the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum by developing an outreach program in which 3D visualization is utilized to engage youngsters in science education.