Kenneth Knappenberger, professor of chemistry at Penn State, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of two Eberly College of Science faculty members to receive this honor this year. Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed by peers upon members of the AAAS, the world's largest general scientific society and the publisher of the journal Science. Knappenberger was recognized for his contributions to the understanding of the electronic and optical properties of metal nanostructures through the use of ultrafast spectroscopy.
The Knappenberger group focuses on understanding structural photonics, which describes the structure- function interplay of light-harvesting materials and can be leveraged to yield improvements in applications such as energy conversion, quantum information, telecommunications, and medical diagnostics and therapeutics, among others. The group is especially interested in describing light-matter interactions of plasmonic nanoparticles and metal nanoclusters. In order to make advances on these materials systems, members of the Knappenberger group innovate femtosecond optical spectroscopy and imaging tools capable of revealing new aspects of how nanoscale structure influences the use and control of light.
“We are very pleased to learn of Ken’s well-deserved recognition,” added Philip Bevilacqua, head of Department of Chemistry and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State. “Ken has been an outstanding scholar in research, service, and teaching and being elected a AAAS fellow is a well-deserved recognition.”
Previously, Knappenberger’s work has been recognized with the Coblentz Award from the Coblentz Society, a Developing Scholar Award from the Florida State University, the Joseph Wang Award in Nanoscience, the Young Investigator Award from the Inter-American Photochemical Society, and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award.
Knappenberger earned his PhD at Penn State and his undergraduate degree at Lock Haven University. He returned to Penn State as a faculty member in 2017 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, and nine years (2008-2017) as a member of the Florida State University faculty.
Knappenberger will be formally inducted into the AAAS at their virtual annual meeting this winter. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For additional information visit the AAAS website.