Ju Li, the Battelle Energy Alliance Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering and professor of materials science and engineering, has been named a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). Nominated by the Division of Materials Physics, Li was cited “for seminal work on understanding the fundamental properties of ultra-strength materials and formulating the concept of elastic strain engineering.”
Li’s research straddles nuclear and materials science and engineering; he applies his studies of atomic-scale materials behavior to a broad range of challenges, including energy storage, solar energy, waste management, and reactor materials. Over the last decade, Li has established himself as a leader in developing and applying computer simulations to gain greater understanding of fundamental nanoscale mechanical and transport properties of materials. Li has also been leading the discussion and development of an emerging topic in materials design — elastic strain engineering. The approach involves applying and managing stresses within known materials to give them dramatically different properties.
Li graduated with a PhD from the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) at MIT in 2000. He was an assistant professor at Ohio State University and an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvannia before joining the NSE faculty with a joint appointment in the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering in 2011.
The APS fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by one’s professional peers for exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise. Election to fellowship in the APS is limited to no more than half of 1 percent of the membership. A list of the 2014 APS Fellows and citations can be found on the APS website.