Faculty Profile

Qian Chen

Materials Science and Engineering
Qian Chen
Qian Chen
Assistant Professor
102 Materials Research Lab MC 230
104 S. Goodwin
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 300-1137

Primary Research Area

  • Polymers

For more information

Professional Highlights

  • Prof. Qian Chen is currently an Assistant Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She obtained her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from UIUC with Prof. Steve Granick (2012) and did her postdoc with Prof. Paul Alivisatos at UC Berkeley under the prestigious Miller Fellowship. She joined the faculty of UIUC in 2015 and since then has received awards for the research in her group such as the Victor LaMer award in ACS (2015), Forbes 30 under 30 Science List (2016), AFOSR YIP award (2017), NSF CAREER award (2018) and Sloan Research Fellow in Chemistry (2018). The research in her group focuses on the broad scheme of imaging, understanding and engineering active soft matter, including systems such as nanoparticle and colloidal self-assembly, protein aggregation, advanced battery devices, and energy-efficient water filtration.

Research Areas

  • Polymers

Research Topics

Selected Articles in Journals


  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, the National Science Foundation (Nov, 2017)
  • ACS Petroleum Research Foundation Doctoral New Researcher Award (Oct, 2017)
  • Air Force's Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) Award, Biophysics Program, Air Force Office of Scientific Research (Oct, 2016)
  • The SN 10 List of Scientists Making the Next Big Discoveries; Science News Magazine (one of the 10 early- and mid-career scientists, age 40 and under, selected among all science disciplines) (Sep, 2016)
  • Distinguished Visiting Fellow, the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), United Kingdom (to a distinguished professor from an overseas academic centre of excellence for up to one month in UK university to build capacity and promote collaborations) (Aug, 2016)
  • Forbes 30 under 30 Science List, Forbes Magazine (Jan, 2016)
  • Victor LaMer Award, Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry, American Chemical Society (Jun, 2015)
  • Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad, Extraordinary Prize (5 worldwide), Ministry of Education, P.R. China (2012)
  • Miller Research Fellowship, Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science, University of California Berkeley (Jul, 2012-May, 2015)
  • Warren Yee Memorial Fellowship, College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (to the most promising overseas Chinese students) (2009)