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UMD Professor Honored as Maryland Chemist of the Year


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image ofCheng Gong and President Pines

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - On Monday, December 19, 2022, Professor Cheng Gong was awarded the Maryland Section of the American Chemical Society 2022 Chemist of the Year. He is being recognized for “the innovative development of nanosensors based on two-dimensional (2D) quantum materials”.

Since 1962, the annual Maryland Chemist of the Year Award has recognized and honored a member for outstanding achievements in the fields of chemistry, including pure or applied chemistry, chemical engineering, or chemical education. In over ten years, Professor Gong is the only UMD faculty to have won this award.

In conjunction with this award, Prof. Gong presented a talk about his research and vision entitled “Unconventional Sensing Enabled by the Convergence of 2D Quantum Materials and Artificial Intelligence”. Through the past three years of lab operations at UMD, the Gong group has developed research directions of implementing 2D quantum materials into novel nanosensors for probing tiny signals as fingerprints of gas molecules, biological entities, and electromagnetic fields. These research activities have been under grants support from National Science Foundation (NSF), Navy Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), Northrop Grumman Corporation, Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), UMD Brain and Behavior Institute (BBI), and the forthcoming research outcomes potentially deliver promising impacts towards food security, early detection of disease, and defense technologies. The ultimate goal of the Gong group research along these directions will be to combine 2D quantum materials and artificial intelligence (AI), resulting in unconventional sensing.

Earlier this year, Prof. Gong was honored with the University of Maryland Invention of the Year Award for his “2D Materials-Based Nanosensors for Rapid Monitoring of Meat Freshness”. This campus-wise prestigious Invention of the Year Award was awarded to only one invention out of 342 inventions submitted to UMD in the past two years of 2020-2021. Prof. Gong also received the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Jimmy H. C. Lin Award for Entrepreneurship. For teaching and education, Prof. Gong received the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering George Corcoran Memorial Award for faculty, which is presented annually to a young faculty member who has shown exemplary contributions to teaching and education leadership.

Cheng Gong received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Texas at Dallas, and was a postdoctoral scholar in University of California, Berkeley till his joining of University of Maryland. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research interests include 2D materials and devices, 2D magnetism and spintronics, energy-efficient nanoelectronics and quantum phenomena.

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