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Abolhasani receives NSF CAREER Award

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Dr. Milad AbolhasaniDr. Milad Abolhasani, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University, has received a Faculty Early Career Development award, also known as the CAREER Award, from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award is one of the highest honors given by NSF to young faculty members in science and engineering.

NSF will provide $558,779 in funding over five years to support his project, “Intelligent Synthesis of Colloidal Nanocrystals Enabled by Microreaction Engineering in Flow.”

Abolhasani’s research goal is to develop the fundamental scientific knowledge that will enable on-demand flow synthesis of precisely engineered colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals, i.e., quantum dots. This project will employ advanced microfluidic reactors to study the complex nucleation and growth mechanisms of lead halide perovskite quantum dots through comprehending microscale transport mechanisms of chemical precursors. Perovskite QDs are an important class of semiconducting materials with unique size- and composition-dependent optoelectronic properties, including inherently high charge carrier mobility and photoluminescence quantum yield. The results of this CAREER project will lead to better understanding of the synthesis and control of perovskite quantum dots for applications in chemical, (opto)electronics and energy industries. This research program complements education and outreach programs aimed at training graduate and undergraduate students on flow chemistry and microfluidics, educating the general public on smart manufacturing through educational interactive videos and recruiting members of underrepresented groups into STEM careers.

Abolhasani’s research interests include studies of flow chemistry and microfluidic strategies tailored toward addressing the most pervasive challenge of the modern world: meeting a rapidly growing global energy demand while preserving the environment. To meet these goals, the Abolhasani group studies fundamentals of process intensification and microscale transport phenomena using microreaction engineering concepts and principles of smart manufacturing.

Abolhasani received his B.S. (2008) and M.A.Sc. (2010) in mechanical engineering from Sharif University of Technology and the University of British Columbia, respectively. He obtained a Ph.D. (2014) from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. His postdoctoral training was completed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2014-16).

In addition to the NSF CAREER award, Abolhasani has received the American Chemical Society-Petroleum Research Fund (ACS-PRF) Doctoral New Investigator award, AIChE Futures, and Emerging Investigator recognitions from the journals Lab on a Chip, Reaction Chemistry & Engineering, and Flow Chemistry.