Robert P. H. Chang, professor of materials science and engineering, has been honored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as the Director's Distinguished Teaching Scholar (DTS) for achieving groundbreaking results in research, strong teaching and mentoring skills and major educational contributions.
The award, worth up to $300,000 over four years, is NSF's recognition of accomplishments by scientists and engineers whose roles as educators and mentors are considered as important as their ground-breaking results in research.
Chang is one of seven scholars whose grants allow scholars to conduct further research and education activities, or start new ones that benefit their individual fields and the students they support.
Chang was honored for his important contributions in plasma science and technology, diamond research, high-temperature superconductivity and carbon nanotubes, while expanding undergraduate research as director of a materials research center at Northwestern.
He also launched the first NSF Research Experience for Teachers Program in 1993, as well as the Materials World Modules program for middle and high school students around the country. Chang now directs the nation's first Center for Learning and Teaching in Nanoscale Science and Engineering. His new project will engage young students in the links between science and engineering and society, so they will gain problem-solving skills to prepare them to address practical global issues.