Kwang-Yu and Lee-Chien Wang Graduate Fellowship

The intent of the Kwang-Yu and Lee-Chien Wang Fellowship is to support excellence in chemical engineering research at the graduate level. The fellowship targets research in University of Rochester’s chemical engineering’s strategic focus areas:

  • Sustainable energy and sustainable process engineering
  • Optical, photonic, and electronic materials
  • Computational driven materials discovery


All full-time graduate students in University of Rochester’s chemical engineering doctoral program who have successfully passed the PhD proposal exam are eligible to apply. Students can apply to the award annually, and can win the fellowship up to two times.

Financial and Programmatic Support

The fellowship augments the department’s annual academic stipend from $28k to $32k, with expectation that the student’s advisor is willing to cover half of the total ($16k).

Beyond the stipend, the fellowship provides and additional $12k in research funds to be spent in consultation with the fellow’s PhD advisor and up to $2k to present results at academic conferences.

Funds should be expended during the one-year fellowship period.

Nomination Details

Applications comprise of the following:

  • A three-page research statement*
  • A two-page resume / CV
  • The applicant’s UR academic transcript
  • A letter of support from the student’s advisor

*The research statement should summarize research progress made to date, intellectual contributions of the student’s thesis work, and plans for spending the allocated research and travel funds. Applicants should write their statement using 11 point, Times New Roman font with 1” margins and 1.1 spacing, excluding references.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Prior scholarly achievements and research productivity
  • Connection to chemical engineering focus areas
  • Merit and feasibility of proposed research plan

A maximum of two awards will be made each year.

Review Committee

The review committee comprises of:

  • Professor Nick Vamivakas (Inst. of Optics, and Dean of Graduate Studies for ASE)
  • Professor Lewis Rothberg (Chemistry)
  • Professor Danielle Benoit (Biomedical Engineering and Director of Materials Science)
  • A rotating faculty member from chemical engineering

The review committee will evaluate applications and make recommendations to the department chair.


This year, all application materials must be received by the graduate coordinator, Ms. Vicki Heberling ( by November 15 each year. Decisions will be made by December 1 each year

Obligation of Fellows

In January, all fellows are asked to confer with chemical engineering graduate students to nominate candidates for the Kwang-Yu and Lee-Chien Wang Lecture. This distinguished lecture should reflect the same qualities entailed in the fellowship: impact and inspiring research with connection to chemical engineering focus areas.

Fellows should work together and make the nomination to Professor Marc Porosoff for his advice and consent by February 1 each year.

The annual lecture will be held in late September or early October, and all fellowship winners are obligated to prepare a 20 minute lecture to be delivered preceding the invited speaker’s keynote lecture. Fellows are also obligated to provide a two-page post-fellowship report due that summarizes their research and describes how they used the fellowship funds.

Past Recipients

Past Wang Distinguished Lecturers and Student Fellows
DateDistinguished LecturerStudent Fellows
3rdSeptember 28, 2022Professor Heather Kulik, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Renjie Liu 
Mehrad Ansari

2ndOctober 13, 2021Professor Christopher Jones
Georgia Institute of Technology
Ni Huo
Mitchell Juneau
1stNovember 4, 2020Dr. Richard A. Vaia
US Air Force Research Laboratory
Zhou Li
Wenshi Zhang