Dr. Jacob Jones, Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and University Faculty Scholar at North Carolina State University, is the thirty-sixth recipient of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Extension. Jones gave his award lecture titled, “Embracing Convergence Research: The Journey from Ferroelectric Materials to Nanotechnology, Bayesian Statistics, and Water-Food Systems” through a virtual presentation on Monday, Nov. 9.
The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Extension was established in 1981. It honors a College of Engineering faculty member who has demonstrated superiority in several areas of activity that relate to the NC State’s three-fold mission of teaching, research and extension. The annual award is supported by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company through the NC State Engineering Foundation to recognize scientific and educational achievements in fields of engineering. The recipient is given a $25,000 prize distributed over five years.
Jones is a leading researcher in the areas of oxide materials and materials characterization and a passionate, dedicated educator. He plays a key leadership role both at NC State and the larger Research Triangle area of North Carolina in furthering research and education in analytical and materials characterization, nanotechnology and STEM education.
Since 2014, he has served as director of NC State’s Analytical Instrumentation Facility (AIF), which is the largest shared core facility at the University and offers students, faculty members and external clients access to state-of-the-art analytical and materials characterization instrumentation. Since 2015, he has served as principal investigator (PI) and director of the Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network, a multi-institutional site within the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure that is furthering access to research facilities and education on nanotechnology.
Jones is known for promoting international science and engineering initiatives. He has been PI on three National Science Foundation awards to provide international research experiences to U.S. students at foreign research laboratories. Using these programs, Jones has enabled more than 50 U.S. students to obtain international research experiences overseas and has hosted a multitude of foreign students at U.S. institutions. Since 2012, he has been a Senior Visiting Fellow in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales.
Jones participates and leads many interdisciplinary teams and projects on topics including nanotechnology, crystallography, functional materials in environmental applications, water sustainability and healthcare. Many of these interdisciplinary collaborations utilize the suite of analytical tools and in situ capabilities available within the AIF.
He is a Fellow of the IEEE Society and the American Ceramic Society and has received numerous awards for his research and education activities, including an NSF CAREER award, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and the IEEE Ferroelectrics Young Investigator Award.