The Simon Karecki Award was presented to Wen Zhang of the Georgia Institute of Technology at the GRC/SEMATECH Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing Review in Tucson, Arizona. This year marks the tenth anniversary of Dr. Simon Karecki’s death and the establishment of the Simon Karecki Fellowship Fund by Simon’s friends and colleagues. Simon was a student in the ERC, an SRC Graduate Fellow and an outstanding individual and researcher. To continue Simon’s legacy and honor his memory, the Karecki award encourages other talented young researchers to pursue environmental research.
Wen Zhang is pursuing his Ph.D. in civil engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology under the direction of Professor Yongsheng Chen. His research has been primarily focused on evaluating the environmental, health and safety issues of semiconductor nanomaterials. Wen has published three peer-reviewed papers in Nanotechnology, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, and the Journal of Physical Chemistry, and five are under review in Environmental Science and Technology. He has presented his work at a number of semiconductor conferences.
One of the criteria for receiving the Simon Karecki Award is academic excellence. Wen has achieved excellent grades in his graduate level work with a 3.96 GPA at Arizona State University and a perfect 4.0 at Georgia Tech. Wen has a history of working with other people across disciplines and in other areas of interest to accomplish his research goals and currently mentors three research teams. Dr. John Crittenden, director of the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems at Georgia Tech, knows Wen's work very well through collaborative research. Dr. Crittenden enthusiastically congratulated Wen stating, "This honor is well-deserved".
Wen will complete his doctoral studies in August and plans to continue as a postdoctoral researcher. Wen’s passion for research, leadership skills and strong interest in environmental issues made him an ideal recipient of the Simon Karecki award.