Raj Bordia receives Humboldt Research Award

Raj Bordia, UW professor of materials science and engineering, has been awarded a Humboldt Research Award for senior scientists by Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

The international honor, one of the most prestigious given by Germany, recognizes Bordia’s career accomplishments in materials science and engineering.

The 60,000-euro (approximately $90,000) Humboldt Research Award will fund Bordia’s research on composite particles and multilayered systems of semiconducting oxides. With collaborators in Germany, his research will focus on processing, characterization and performance of these systems. Target applications are in the areas of photovoltaics for clean energy and photocatalysis for clean water and air.

Humboldt Research Awards for senior scientists are presented each year to as many as 100 top international researchers in engineering, humanities and social sciences, and the natural and physical sciences. The awards are given to scientists and scholars from outside of Germany whose fundamental discoveries, new theories or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future.

The awards enable academics from outside of Germany to conduct research at German research institutions for a period of one year, which may be divided into smaller blocks. Recipients are nominated by leading German scholars and have five years to use the award.

Bordia was nominated by research collaborators Peter Greil, a professor at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Erlangen-Nürnberg and Ralf Riedel, a professor at Technical University, Darmstadt.

“Research on developing technologies for clean energy and clean water are critically important for sustainable development,” Bordia said. “I will use this award to develop a network of collaborations on these topics with leading research groups in Germany. The focus on basic science and the philosophy of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation will make it possible to develop long-term academic interactions.”

Bordia’s internationally recognized research is at the intersection of materials science and mechanics and is focused on fundamental and applied studies in the processing and properties of complex material systems. He has made pioneering contributions on the processing of multilayered and composite materials. His research group is currently focusing on ceramic, porous and multilayered materials for energy, environmental and medical applications.

Bordia was elected as a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society in 2002. He received a National Young Investigator Award (1992 to 1997) from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a DuPont Young Professor Award from E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (1993 to 1996). A dedicated teacher and mentor, he also received the Marsha Landolt Distinguished Graduate Mentor award from UW in 1997.

Bordia received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1979 from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He received his master’s degree (1981) and doctorate (1986) in materials science and engineering from Cornell University. He joined the UW faculty in 1991 and was chair of the Department of Materials Science & Engineering from 1998 to 2005. Before coming to UW, he worked as a research scientist in Central Research and Development at DuPont from 1986 to 1991.

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