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College of Arts and Sciences

Chemistry professor receives young investigator award from Navy

By: Kathy Hovis,  A&S Communications
June 5, 2019

Cornell assistant professor Song Lin, a Howard Milstein Faculty Fellow, was among  25 scientists selected from more than 260 applicants to receive Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program (YIP) awards, which support early-career academic scientists and engineers.

Recipients will share $16.5 million in funding to conduct naval-relevant scientific research. The awards support laboratory equipment, graduate student stipends and scholarships, as well as other expenses critical to ongoing and planned research. Typical grants range between $500,000 to $750,000 over a three-year period.

Lin, from the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, is principal investigator of the Lin Research Group, an organic chemistry lab with specific research interests in electrosynthesis, asymmetric catalysis and organic materials.  

This Young Investigator award will support work in synthesizing energetic materials using electrochemistry. The generation of explosives in a safe and efficient manner aligns with the core missions of the Office of Naval Research. Lin will invent new chemical approaches based on electrochemistry to innovate the preparation of such critical materials.

“This award has made it possible for us to open a fundamentally new research direction in the lab,” Lin said. “In the past, our research has focused on discovering new reaction tools to promote the synthesis of medicinally active compounds. With the YIP award, we will venture into a new endeavor in which we use new chemical reactions to synthesize compounds that can also be used in defense.”

The scientists chosen to receive this year’s grants represent 23 academic institutions nationwide, supporting efforts related to aerodynamics, autonomy, energetics, power and energy, machine learning, sensing and sensors, quantum materials and undersea-breathing technologies.