Dr. Marcel Wubbolts handing out the Materials Sciences Award 2014 to Prof. Jian Ping Gong at the IUPAC World Polymer Congress 2014 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. (Photo: DSM Engineering Plastics)
Prof. Jian Ping Gong, Professor of the Faculty of Advanced Life Science at Japan’s Hokkaido University has been awarded the DSM Materials Sciences Award 2014 in recognition of her exceptional contributions to the advancement of double-network hydrogels and materials sciences.
The DSM Materials Sciences Award is part of DSM’s ‘Bright Science Awards’ programme, and is presented in cooperation with IUPAC, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. DSM bestows the Materials Sciences award every two years in recognition of outstanding scientific work by an established scientist that has significantly contributed to the advancement of the materials sciences field.
An international judging committee, chaired by Dr. Marcel Wubbolts, Chief Technology Officer of DSM, selected Professor Gong from among the candidates proposed via a public call for nominations. Professor Gong received the award – which carries a cash prize of EUR 50,000 – from Dr. Wubbolts at the IUPAC World Polymer Congress 2014 in Chiang Mai, Thailand earlier this year.
Professor Gong’s work on the mechanical properties of extremely tough double-network gels is some of the most original materials sciences research that has taken place over the past years, and has generated significant interest and recognition in the international scientific community. In addition, her innovative work on the friction of hydrogels – which was driven by artificial cartilage applications – belongs to the best work ever done in the field.
“It is the work of innovative scientists like Jian Ping Gong that enables trailblazing advances in science,” commented Dr. Wubbolts. “Professor Gong’s work is key in addressing global health and wellness challenges in a world with an aging population and rising global healthcare costs. Her research also provides tools and inspiration to others in materials sciences for generating new possibilities for even wider applications.”
Prof. Gong obtained her Bachelor's degree in physics from Zhejiang University, China, and her Master's degree in polymer science from Ibaraki University, Japan. Her Doctor of Engineering degree was acquired studying high Tc superconducting materials at Tokyo Institute of Technology. In 1993, Prof. Gong became a faculty member at Hokkaido University, where she also received her Doctor of Science for studying polyelectrolyte hydrogels – she was appointed full professor at the university in 2003.
Aside from the DSM Materials Sciences Award, Prof. Gong has received various other prestigious scientific accolades, including the Chemical Society of Japan’s Award for Creative Work in 2011. Professor Gong holds 41 patents or patent applications, and has published 291 papers. She also serves on the editorial and advisory boards of Biointerphases, Asia Materials, Soft Matter, Macromolecules, and Polymer.
“I’m very honoured to receive this award. It’s good to see that companies like DSM are continuing to invest in science, and recognize the importance of pioneering research in materials science that leads to sustainable products or applications that enhance people's quality of life,” said Prof. Gong on receiving the award.