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The Early Career Award will be given at PPS-32 at Lyon, France, to Prof. Younjin Min.

Younjin Min joined the Polymer Engineering Department at the University of Akron in 2013 as an Assistant Professor. She attended Ewha Womans University, where she obtained her Bachelors Degree in Environmental Science and Engineering. She then obtained her Master’s Degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), where she developed novel biocompatible diblock copolymers for nano-sized drug delivery carriers. Subsequently, she worked in the biomedical center, at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) in the area of formulating protein drug carriers for tissue regeneration.
She received her Ph.D. in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, under the guidance of Professors Jacob Israelachvili and Joe Zasadzinski. Her Ph.D. research focused on soft condensed matter, from biological (lipid membranes, proteins) to non-biological (polymers, nanoparticles, surfactants) and interfacial surface science.
Following her Ph.D., Dr. Min joined the group of Professor Paula Hammond in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral researcher, developing biomimetic polymeric materials for layer-by-layer assembling systems for wound healing and vaccination.
She has over 25 publications in high-impact journals, including Nature Materials, Nano Letters, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and two patents on novel biocompatible polymers. These publications have been very important, receiving over 1,650 citations with an h-index of 16.
Her current research interests encompass the area of surface and interfacial science and materials, including intermolecular interactions, friction phenomena, colloidal science, thin film fabrication, polymer synthesis, biophysics, and biomaterials for biomedical applications. Her research efforts have been recognized through the Korean Governmental Research Fellowship, the Schlinger Scholarship for Excellence in Chemical Engineering Research, and the ACS-PRF Young Investigator Award, in aids as well as federal and industrial funds from NSF-CBET, ACS-PRF, P&G, and Vaxess.

Hua Deng joined the College of Polymer Science and Engineering at Sichuan University in 2009 as Lecturer, promoted to Associate Professor in 2011, and full Professor in 2015, respectively. 

He obtained Bachelor Degree in Materials Science and Engineering in Harbin Institute of Technology. He then obtained his Master Degree in Queen Mary, University of London, where he studied the water absorption behavior of all-polypropylene composites. He received his Ph.D. in Queen Mary, University of London, under the guidance of Professor Ton Peijs. His Ph.D. research focused on the application of carbon nanotubes in polymer matrix in the form of composites and oriented tapes. Before his Ph.D graduation he started working for the R&D department of Nanocyl S.A. (Belgium), working on the application of CNTs in various polymer matrixes.

He has over 100 publications in SCI journals, including Progress in Polymer Science, Advanced Functional Materials, Small, etc., and six innovative patents. These publications have received over 3000 citations with an h-index of 34.

His current research interests covers the area of functional polymer composites, with research focus on polymer processing, including electrical/thermal conductive polymer composites, strain sensing, dielectric polymer composites. His research efforts have been recognized through various programs and prizes: Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University from Ministry of Education (2013), Outstanding Young Scholar of Sichuan Province (2013), The first prize for Sichuan province science and Technology Progress Award (2014),      The Reserve Candidates for Academic and Technical Leaders in Sichuan Province (2014), The talent of outstanding young science and technology award of Sichuan University (2016). His research has received funding from both NSFC as well as industry: ExxonMobil, Sunliky and Taly.