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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

MIT Technology Review names Diao to ‘Innovators Under 35’ list

Today MIT Technology Review revealed its annual list of Innovators Under 35. For her work in the field of Nanotechnology and Materials, Dr. Ying Diao, Assistant Professor and Dow Chemical Company Faculty Scholar in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois, has been recognized as a pioneer on the list.

Dr. Ying Diao
Dr. Ying Diao

For over a decade, the global media company has recognized a list of exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world with its Innovators Under 35 list.

Ying Diao received her Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 2012 and joined the Illinois faculty in 2015. Her work has focused on developing fundamental understanding of and innovative methodologies for directed assembly of functional materials and their applications in electronics, renewable energy and healthcare.

In particular, she brought key innovations to printing organic semiconductors—a technology in demand for energy-efficient, low-cost manufacturing of plastic electronics and solar cells. Unlike conventional electronics, plastic electronics and solar cells not only require much less energy to fabricate, they can also be made into lightweight, flexible, transparent, biointegrated forms that were previously unimagined. Her printing innovations address a critical challenge in this area: to direct the assembly of molecules into high-performance devices during printing. Her innovations integrate concepts from a wide range of disciplines, from the “coffee ring” effect and snowflake growth to microfluidics and DNA stretching.

“I have always immersed myself in highly interdisciplinary environments and have been fortunate to work with incredible mentors, colleagues and students. They have been and will continue to be the source of inspiration for me,” Diao said. “I am very honored and humbled to be listed among the top young innovators of our time,” she added.

“Over the years, we’ve had success in choosing young innovators whose work has been profoundly influential on the direction of human affairs,” said editor in chief and publisher Jason Pontin. “Previous winners include Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the cofounders of Google; Mark Zuckerberg, the cofounder of Facebook; and Jonathan Ive, the chief designer of Apple. We’re proud of our selections and the variety of achievements they celebrate, and we’re proud to add Ying Diao to this prestigious list.”

This year’s honorees will be featured online at starting Aug. 23, and in the September/October print magazine, which hits newsstands worldwide on August 29. They will appear in person at the upcoming EmTech MIT conference October 18–20 in Cambridge, Massachusetts (

About MIT Technology Review
Founded at MIT in 1899, MIT Technology Review is an independent media company whose mission is to equip audiences with the intelligence to understand and contribute to a world shaped by technology. Readers are a global audience of business and thought leaders, innovators and early adopters, entrepreneurs and investors. MIT Technology Review is first to report on a broad range of new technologies, informing our audiences about how important breakthroughs will impact their careers and lives. Subscribe. Follow: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+.

For MIT Technology Review:
David W.M. Sweeney
pressattechnologyreview [dot] com

University of Illinois Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Christine des Garennes, Assistant Director of Communications
desgarenatillinois [dot] edu

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