According to a recent report, the University of Washington led the world in impact of publications in materials science research during the period 2001-2011. This analysis, by Thomson-Reuters, focused on 800 papers published at the UW in the field of materials science, which were collectively cited about 24,000 times, achieving a remarkable 30.41 citations per publication. The UW’s performance was closely followed by a number of outstanding private and public institutions. Chemistry Chair Paul Hopkins points out that even in a large university such as the UW, the work of a small number of faculty members can strongly influence the outcome of such analyses. He points out that UW Chemistry Professor Daniel Gamelin, UW Chemistry and Materials Science Professor Alex Jen, UW Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Professor Samson Jenekhe, and former UW Chemistry Professor Younan Xia together published a total of nearly 750 papers in that time period that were cited over 43,000 times, or 58 citations per paper. Though all of these papers were clearly not included in the Thomson-Reuters analysis, Hopkins believes that that the work of chemists Gamelin, Jen, Jenekhe, and Xia was critical to lifting the UW to the number one spot. Hopkins hopes that prospective graduate students and postdoctoral associates in this field will take notice of the UW’s outstanding performance and strongly consider joining this exciting program at the UW.
Younan Xia, UW Professor of Chemistry from 1997 to 2007, was recently ranked number four on The Times Higher Education list of “Top Materials Scientists of the Past Decade.” The scientists named were ranked by the influence of their publications during the period from 2000 to 2010, as measured by the number of citations per paper. The list is essentially a “who’s who” of the outstanding scientists in this field. The top 11 investigators on the list achieved an extraordinary average of over 100 citations per paper for 26 or more papers. Ranked at number four on the list was Professor Younan Xia, currently on the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis. Xia began his independent academic career in the UW Department of Chemistry in 1997 and was on the faculty through 2007, for most of the period during which the influential papers were published. Chemistry Chair Paul Hopkins believes that Xia “is an extraordinary scientist, with a unique combination of creativity, intellect, and energy that he focuses on his scientific pursuits. We were very sorry to lose Professor Xia, but are proud that he was able to develop his extraordinary program at our institution. I congratulate him!”