Chemistry PhD Wins Award

On May 15, 2014 by Grad Forum

Xin Su presenting his research to former Dartmouth president, Jim Kim, at the Graduate Poster Session.

The Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad is a prestigious prize founded in 2003 that rewards 500 Chinese students studying abroad each year. Recipients of this award must have achieved academic excellence pursuing a PhD without financial help from the Chinese government. This year, Xin Su, a recent graduate of the Dartmouth Department of Chemistry, won the award.

Su is originally from Qinhuangda in northeast China. During his time at Dartmouth, Su has published 10 papers as a member of Professor Ivan Aprahamian’s lab, attended several conferences, and has been involved in community outreach. His lab work focuses on supramolecular chemistry, which as Su explained, “is essentially making tiny machines, with one molecule that has a switching function.” The switches can be used to control larger objects. According to Su, “You can use their behavior to bend and twist a polymer.” (A polymer is a long chain of repeating units.)

There are two rounds to the application process for the award. In order to be considered for the award, one has to first submit an application to the consulate. Students within the entire New York Consulate area—which includes all of New England as well as New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania—are eligible. If you are selected from the first round, you are asked to send your application to the Chinese Ministry of Education in China. The award, which includes $6000 that students can use in any way they would like, was presented on May 9 at the New York Consulate in New York City.

Su noted that he was “really honored to get this award.” Although he knew a high school classmate and an undergraduate college roommate who both won the award, Su is the first student, whom he is aware of, to win from Dartmouth. He hopes he “can set an example for students from China at Dartmouth, so they can apply and get this award too. Dartmouth is a really great place for research.”

Su plans to continue his research career following graduation. He has accepted a job with the National Energy Technology Lab in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

We wish Su the best in his future endeavors, and congratulate him on his award!

by Britney Tappen

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