Wu Awarded Purdue University College of Engineering Early Career Research Award

Awards of Excellence celebrate College's distinguished array of talented educators and researchers

Fifteen College of Engineering educators were honored at the 2022 Faculty and Lecturer Excellence Awards Banquet on April 22 in the Kurtz Atrium at Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering. It was the 20th year for the event.

The internal awards ceremony is held each year to recognize and celebrate achievements in teaching, research, mentorship, and outreach. This year’s recipients were selected for a wide range of talents, including: groundbreaking discoveries and inventions; expertise in online classrooms and labs; encouraging students to become global citizens; guiding mentees to high-level careers; making game-changing contributions to the curriculum; positively placing Purdue in the national spotlight; fostering a sense of community for fellow faculty; and creatively engaging students in the classroom.

Video testimonials illustrating the recipients’ impact on the College and Purdue preceded each award presentation.

Mung Chiang, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering and executive vice president of Purdue University for strategic initiatives, greeted the guests of honor and those gathered to support them.

“The 15 recipients of these 10 faculty and lecturer awards in 2022, across the categories of teaching and mentoring, research and innovation, and leadership and service, represent the caliber and impact of Purdue Engineering faculty,” Chiang said. “We thank the nominators, the selection committees and all the teams behind the recognized work for attaining the pinnacle of excellence at scale.”

Of the award winners, Ravi and Eleanor Talwar Rising Star Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering, Wenzhuo Wu was honored with the Early Career Research Award. 

For pioneering contributions to nanomanufacturing, including the development of tellurene-based technologies as well as triboelectric and piezo-electrocatalytic sensors, which enable major advances in nanoelectronics, healthcare, wearable devices, and quantum technologies. 

Wu is known as a pioneer of wearable triboelectric sensors using biomaterials such as lignin, chitosan, and PVA-gelatin. He has enabled the design and holistic engineering of materials for self-powered devices that can continuously monitor vital physiological signals. In the largest integration of functional nanomaterials documented to date, Wu developed the first and largest three-dimensional integration of nanowire transistors for artificial skin applications, enabling unprecedented applications in human-machine interfaces and prosthetics.

Wu is the recipient of the ARO Young Investigator Award, an NSF CAREER Award, and the TMS Functional Materials Division’s Young Leaders Professional Development Award. His Purdue research has drawn $6.8M in external federal funding.