Engineering Honor for LaShanda Korley

Engineering Honor for LaShanda Korley

Professor named Fellow of American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering

LaShanda Korley’s lab at the University of Delaware has an unofficial motto: The Korley Lab — where unicorns are real. The fanciful motto represents an undeniable truth. By creating new materials inspired by nature for applications in healthcare, sensing, soft robotics and more, Korley is pushing the boundaries of what materials scientists and engineers previously thought possible.

For outstanding contributions to bio-inspired materials design and manufacturing, Korley, Distinguished Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware, has been named to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).

Election to the AIMBE College of Fellows is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to a medical and biological engineer. The College of Fellows consists of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers. Korley is one of 156 new Fellows being inducted in 2020.

“I am extremely honored to be elected to the 2020 Class of AIMBE Fellows,” said Korley. “The recognition by such an esteemed engineering community is particularly important to me, as it highlights the impact and relevance of my research lab’s focus on bio-inspired strategies to develop mechanically-robust and responsive soft material systems with applications from tissue engineering scaffolds to gradient coatings. It also reinforces how blessed I am to have such a talented team of researchers – past and present — in my lab.”

Korley leads a laboratory that focuses on the study of soft matter, polymers and bio-inspired materials — materials with properties like those found in nature. For example, she is designing materials inspired by strong spider silk and by the flexible jaws of sea worms. She is the principal investigator of PIRE: Bio-Inspired Materials and Systems, a five-year, $5.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Doctoral student Chase Thompson (left) is mentored by Prof. LaShanda Korley.

In a photograph taken before the coronavirus pandemic necessitated social distancing, doctoral student Chase Thompson (left) is mentored by Prof. LaShanda Korley.

She is associate director of the new Center for Research in Soft Matter and Polymers (CRISP) at UD and associate editor of the Journal of Applied Physics. She has published 55 peer-reviewed publications, which have garnered 1,342 citations, according to Google Scholar.

Korley is well recognized as a leader in her field and received the 2019 Lloyd N. Ferguson Young Scientist Award for Excellence in Research from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE).

Darrin Pochan, Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, said: “Professor LaShanda Korley’s deep expertise and prolific research in biomimetic, composite materials for a variety of sustainability and biomedical applications make her a well-deserved candidate for Fellowship in the AIMBE. She is an international leader in the development, processing, and understanding of new polymer materials and soft matter that will have an impact on a wide variety of technology in the future. The Departments of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, College of Engineering, and UD are proud to call Professor Korley a colleague with all looking forward to many future successes in research, mentorship, and more.”

Eric Furst, Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, said: “LaShanda is a tremendous colleague. I admire her scholarship in soft materials that she pursues with her students, often inspired by nature and natural systems, but I also deeply appreciate her dedication and contributions to the service missions of the college and her departments. Her leadership in activities like Future Faculty Workshop and large center initiatives enrich our community and college research neighborhoods.”

Korley joined UD in 2018 from Case Western Reserve University, where she was the Climo Associate Professor in the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering. Korley holds a doctoral degree in chemical engineering, with a focus in polymer science and technology, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received a bachelor’s degree in both chemistry and engineering from Clark Atlanta University as well as a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

UD has a strong tradition of biological engineering. Other UD faculty members who belong to AIMBE’s College of Fellows include: Thomas Buchanan, Prasad Dhurjati, Dawn Elliott, Jill Higginson, Kristi Kiick, Kelvin Lee, Abraham Lenhoff, David Martin, Terry Papoutsakis and Millie Sullivan.

Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

Kristi Kiick Honored for Inventions

Kristi Kiick Honored for Inventions

UD engineering professor honored by National Academy of Inventors

Kristi Kiick, Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Delaware, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the organization announced on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019.

The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Election to NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. To date, NAI Fellows hold more than 41,500 issued U.S. patents, which have generated over 11,000 licensed technologies and companies, and created more than 36 million jobs. In addition, over $1.6 trillion in revenue has been generated based on NAI Fellow discoveries.

The 2019 Fellow class represents 136 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes worldwide and collectively hold over 3,500 issued U.S. patents. Among the 2019 Fellows are six recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation or U.S. National Medal of Science and four Nobel Laureates, as well as other honors and distinctions. Their collective body of research covers a range of scientific disciplines including neurobehavioral sciences, horticulture, photonics and nanomedicine.

Laura A. Peter, deputy under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and deputy director at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), will be the keynote speaker at the NAI Fellows Induction Ceremony, April 10, 2020, in Phoenix, Arizona, a commemorative event at the ninth annual meeting of the National Academy of Inventors.  At the ceremony, Fellows will be formally inducted by Peter and NAI President Paul R. Sanberg in recognition of their outstanding achievements.

The complete list of NAI Fellows is available on the NAI website.

Kiick is the Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and recently completed an administrative role as deputy dean of UD’s College of Engineering.

Her internationally recognized research focuses on the synthesis, characterization, and application of protein, peptide, and self-assembled materials for applications in cardiovascular, wound healing, and musculoskeletal therapies.

A Fellow of the American Chemical Society, Kiick has published more than 150 articles, book chapters, and patents, and has delivered over 175 invited and award lectures. Kiick’s honors have included several awards (Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty, Beckman Young Investigator, National Science Foundation CAREER, DuPont Young Professor, and Delaware Biosciences Academic Research Award, Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor, Fulbright Scholar) as well as induction as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and of the American Chemical Society Division of Polymer Chemistry. She also serves on the advisory and editorial boards for multiple international journals and research organizations.

Kiick received her bachelor of science in chemistry from UD as a Eugene du Pont Memorial Distinguished Scholar, where she graduated summa cum laude, and a master of science in chemistry as an NSF Graduate Fellow at the University of Georgia. She worked in industry (Kimberly Clark Corporation) as a research scientist prior to obtaining master of science and doctoral degrees in polymer science and engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, completing her doctoral research at the California Institute of Technology as a recipient of a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) fellowship.

Through a Leverhulme Visiting Professorship, which provides funds for eminent scholars to visit the UK, and a Fulbright Award, one of the most prestigious international scholarship opportunities, Kiick is giving lectures and conducting research in collaboration with faculty and students at the United Kingdom’s University of Nottingham this year.

About the National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. The NAI has a close collaborative relationship with the USPTO and is one of three honorific organizations, along with the National Medals and National Inventors Hall of Fame, working closely with the USPTO on many discovery and innovation support initiatives. The NAI publishes the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation. For more information, visit


 Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

Highly Cited Researchers

Highly Cited Researchers

Cathy Wu, Craig Brown and Anderson Janotti make list of top influencers

Engineers at the University of Delaware do research that garners attention from scientists and engineers around the world, and three faculty members in the College of Engineering were recently named to the Clarivate Analytics list of Highly Cited Researchers for 2018. This list identifies scholars whose publications are in the top 1% for citations by other researchers via Web of Science, a scientific citation indexing service. Researchers can be cited for top performance in their field or for Cross-Field impact, a new category this year. Read on for more about UD engineering’s highly cited academics.

Cathy Wu

Cathy Wu, the Unidel Edward G. Jefferson Chair in Engineering and Computer Science, the director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and the director of UD’s new Data Science Institute, has made the Highly Cited Researchers list for the fifth year in a row in the field of biology and biochemistry. Wu has published more than 260 peer-reviewed papers that have garnered more than 32,000 citations. Her work has an h-index of 60, and an i10-index of 165 based on Google Scholar.

Wu is a leader in the field of bioinformatics, analyzing large sets of data to extract meaning about biological phenomena. She has led or co-led several large multi-institutional consortium grant projects funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. In 2002, she co-founded the international UniProt Consortium project, which has become a central hub for protein sequence and function. Many of her most highly cited works are related to this influential project. Wu leads UniProt’s Protein Information Resource, a research resource of protein informatics that supports integrated genomic and proteomic research and scientific discovery.

Cloud computing, text mining, data mining, machine learning and community annotation — all initiatives of UD’s new Data Science Institute — are important to Wu’s research. “It’s all about team science,” Wu said. “It is gratifying and a privilege to have worked with such an incredible multidisciplinary team of dedicated and talented researchers and students in the group and with our collaborators across the university, the region, and nationally and internationally.”

Craig M. Brown

Craig M. Brown is a staff chemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) center for Neutron Research and an adjunct professor through UD’s Center for Neutron Science, which was founded in 2007. Under a cooperative agreement with NIST, UD’s Center for Neutron Science advances the field of neutron scattering by developing new techniques, applying these techniques to new applications, and training the next generation of neutron scientists.

Brown, who studies the structure and dynamics of novel materials, made the 2018 Highly Cited Researchers list in the Cross-Field category. Among his most cited works are papers on molecular adsorption for energy efficient industrial separations, and hydrogen storage in materials, which hold promise in applications for cleaner energy and automotive technology. Brown has published more than 175 peer-reviewed papers, which have garnered more than 12,000 citations. His work has an h-index of 50, and an i10-index of 144 based on Google Scholar.

Anderson Janotti

Anderson Janotti, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering, made the Highly Cited Researchers list in the Cross-Field category. He has published more than 190 peer-reviewed papers, which have garnered more than 17,000 citations. His work has an h-index of 57, and an i10-index of 144 based on Google Scholar.

Janotti’s most cited works are related to the development of oxides as semiconductor materials, focusing on the role of intrinsic defects and impurities in controlling their electrical conductivity. His work on fundamentals of zinc oxide as semiconductor, co-authored by Chris Van de Walle, the Herbert Kroemer Distinguished Professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, has been cited more than 2400 times. Among his highly cited works, a 2007 paper in Nature Materials stands out, where it was revealed a new type of chemical bond in solid materials, the hydrogen multicentre bond — in which a hydrogen atom equally bonds to four or more other atoms. “This was an exciting discovery with important consequences,” said Janotti. “People had tried for a long time to understand the role of hydrogen in oxide materials, and this helped to explain it.”

Janotti joined UD in 2015 and was recently part of a team that modeled the surfaces of half-Heusler compounds, particularly promising electronic materials. Their “electron counting model,” described in a paper in Science Advances, explains the atomic and electronic structure at these surfaces and could help other scientists and engineers utilize these materials more effectively going forward.