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Di Wu recognized by two professional societies for research contributions

Di Wu, left, with his research group before the pandemic.

Di Wu, assistant professor in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, is being recognized by two professional societies in different fields for his early career accomplishments. 

Wu has been named among the most influential chemical engineering and applied chemistry researchers, according to a leading journal in the field, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (I&EC Research), which is published by the American Chemical Society. Meanwhile, he is also featured in the “Futures” issue of AIChE Journal, the flagship journal of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). 

It’s thought to be the first time a chemical engineering faculty member has been recognized with both honors in the same year. 

The I&EC Research award recognizes early career researchers based on the quality and impact of their research. The AIChE honor highlights the research of emerging scholars in chemical engineering.

Wu, who has been with WSU since 2016, conducts research in the experimental thermodynamics of materials employed in energy storage, heterogeneous catalysis, carbon capture and sequestration, and nanogeoscience. He also specializes in calorimetry technology development for in situ measurements.

He is the founding director of the Alexandra Navrotsky Institute for Experimental Thermodynamics, a multidisciplinary institute made possible by a $1.5 million gift from Alexandra Navrotsky, professor of School of Molecular Sciences and School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy at Arizona State University. Wu is also an affiliate faculty member in WSU’s Department of Chemistry and the Materials Science and Engineering Program.

He serves as associate editor of American Mineralogist, the flagship journal of the Mineralogical Society of America (MSA), and of the International Journal of Ceramic Engineering and Science (IJCES), an interdisciplinary journal of The American Ceramic Society (ACerS). He is also an editorial board member of Chemical Thermodynamics and Thermal Analysis and Advanced Composites and Hybrid Materials. Wu has received funding support from the Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Science.

Closeup of Di Wu.
Di Wu

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Zhejiang University, China, a master’s degree from the University of Akron, and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California, Davis.

“Dr. Wu has made significant contributions in the area of experimental thermodynamics of materials with many real-world applications in geosciences and the energy sector,” said Mary Rezac, dean of the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture. “These honors are a testament to the importance of this work and shows the growing reputation of our entire chemical engineering program. We’re so pleased that his hard work and accomplishments are recognized.”

 “These honors illustrate the impact that Dr. Wu’s research in chemical thermodynamics has on advanced chemical engineering systems such as catalysts that depend on earth abundant materials,” said James N. Petersen, former director of the Voiland School. “His research provides fundamental understanding of these systems that affect our everyday lives in profound ways. I am pleased that Dr. Wu is being recognized by his peers for his influential work in this important field and for the potential he has to impact the future of engineering chemistry”. 

As part of being selected as a 2021 Influential Researcher, Wu’s work is featured in a special issue of the journal. His paper entitled “Formation Energetics and Guest—Host Interactions of Molybdenum Carbide Confined in Zeolite Y” describes the thermodynamics of refractory carbides of inexpensive major industrial metals, such as molybdenum (Mo) and tungsten (W), encapsulated in a family of materials with subnano-scale pores –– zeolites. Once properly supported by zeolites, these carbides can serve as possible substitutes for expensive and rare metals like platinum in catalysts that are used in many industrial processes. His research highlighted in the “Futures” issue of AIChE Journal is on “Thermodynamics of Molybdenum Trioxide Encapsulated in Zeolite Y.”

“I am honored to be recognized by I&EC Research as one of the 2021 Class of Influential Researchers, and to be highlighted in the “Futures” issue of AIChE Journal,” Wu said. “I’d like to share these recognitions with my students, collaborators, mentors and colleagues, who have enabled a smoother ‘kinetic pathway’ for me to reach this ‘energetically favorable state’. I look forward to more exciting and challenging research in experimental thermodynamics.”

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