By Amy Kim
The American Chemical Society has recognized Ph.D. candidate Wensi Chen for her research in environmental chemistry and engineering. Chen is one of 20 students nationwide selected to receive the 2021 Environmental Chemistry Graduate Student Award.
The award program recognizes students with a record of research productivity and potential for future contributions as professionals in environmental chemistry and engineering.
“I’m deeply honored to receive this award,” Chen said. “It would greatly encourage me to pursue my career goals in academia. Big thanks to my advisor Dr. Xing Xie for his support during my PhD journey.”
Chen’s research focuses on the design and fabrication of porous polymer beads with high water absorbency and controllable pore structure that selectively absorb target species from complex solutions.
“These polymer beads have a wide range of applications, including rapid and self-driven 3D water filtration, bioproduct concentration, and sensitive target stabilization,” Chen said. “For example, we have demonstrated their use for extracting and stabilizing sensitive biomarkers and viruses in water samples for long-term storage at room temperature, thus bypassing the reliance on cold chains and enabling low-cost remote diagnosis for medically underserved areas.”