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Susan Sinnott recognized with 2022 AVS Medard W. Welch Award

6 September 2022
Sinnott wearing suit stands outside

Susan Sinnott, professor and head of materials science and engineering and professor of chemistry at Penn State, has been selected to receive the 2022 Medard W. Welch Award, the top research award from the American Vacuum Society (AVS).

Sinnott was selected for her “outstanding contributions to the development and utilization of computational methods to advance atomic-scale insights into the mechanisms associated with surface chemistry, thin-film growth and materials discovery.”

The Medard W. Welch Award was established in 1969 to commemorate the pioneering efforts of Welch in founding and supporting the AVS. Sinnott will receive the award during the AVS 68th International Symposium and Exhibition, slated for Nov. 6-8 in Pittsburgh. She will give the honorary lectureship “Atomistic Simulations to Advance Surface Science.”

Sinnott, who also holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Chemistry, joined the Penn State faculty in 2015 as head of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences’ Department of Material Science and Engineering. She held previous at the University of Florida, the University of Kentucky and the Naval Research Laboratory.

She has a long record of involvement with AVS. She has served as a volunteer, on committees or in elected leadership positions for more than twenty years, including serving as the society’s president in 2013.

“The AVS provides an important forum in support of the interdisciplinary research to which I have been drawn throughout my career,” said Sinnott. “It is truly an honor to be selected for this prestigious honor from the technical society that has played such an important role in my technical and professional development.”

Sinnott’s research focuses on 2D materials, metallic nanoparticle catalysts, porous materials for acid gas capture and high-entropy oxides. She has received numerous awards in recognition of her research accomplishments, including a Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement from Penn State this year. The University of Florida (UF) awarded her the Florida Faculty Excellence Award five times, the UF College of Engineering Doctoral Dissertation Mentoring Award, and the UF College of Engineering Teacher/Scholar of the Year Award.

She is the author of more than 290 technical publications and is a Fellow of the Materials Research Society, American Physical Society, American Ceramic Society, American Vacuum Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also is the editor-in-chief of the journal Computational Materials Science.

Sinnott earned her bachelor’s degree with honors in chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and her doctorate in physical chemistry from Iowa State University.