Giannis Mpourmpakis wins Distinguished Young Scientist Award

Giannis (Yanni) Mpourmpakis, PhD, Bicentennial Alumni faculty fellow and assistant professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, has been selected to receive the Bodossaki Foundation Distinguished Young Scientists Award in Chemistry. The Distinguished Young Scientists Award honors the most outstanding scientists of Greek descent under the age of 40 and is given once every two years. The award will be presented at a ceremony on June 19, 2019, in Athens, Greece, where Dr. Mpourmpakis will be honored by the Greek president. It also includes a prize of 20,000 euros. 

The award takes into consideration the individual’s achievements in their field, their contribution to the cultural, scientific and economic development of Greece, and their contribution to the international promotion of Greece through their work and ethics. Dr. Mpourmpakis was nominated by Steven R. Little, PhD, chair of the chemical engineering and petroleum department, and Sunil Saxena, PhD, chair of the chemistry department. “We were honored to nominate Yanni for this prestigious award,” says Dr. Little. “Yanni has made tremendous advances in our knowledge of the chemistry of nanomaterials. We are excited that his impressive work will be recognized on the global stage.” 

Dr. Mpourmpakis’s Computer-Aided Nano and Energy Lab (CANELa) uses theory and computation to investigate the physiochemical properties of nanomaterials with potential applications in diverse nanotechnology areas, ranging from green energy generation and storage to materials engineering and catalysis. Dr. Mpourmpakis earned his PhD at Theoretical and Computational Chemistry from the University of Crete and was a Marie-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Delaware. “After careful deliberation on the ten excellent nominations received, the selection committee, consisting of distinguished scientists of Greek origin working in the field of chemistry all around the globe, unanimously recommended Dr. Giannis Mpourmpakis for the 2019 Bodossaki Young Scientist award in Chemistry,” said Professor Theodoros Theodorou, Associate Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the Bodossaki Foundation. “The committee appreciated Dr. Mpourmpakis’s creative use of state-of-the-art multiscale modeling and simulation methods to understand and predict the properties of materials systems ranging from colloidal metallic nanoparticles to kidney stones. Dr. Mpourmpakis’s work can guide experimental efforts towards the development of new, efficient, and environmentally friendly materials and processes. The Bodossaki Foundation will be pleased to present its 2019 Chemistry Award to Dr. Mpourmpakis.”

Written by Maggie Pavlick

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