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K-State Today

March 9, 2018

Chemistry professor receives 2018 Segebrecht award

By Kelsey Peterson

Jun Li, professor of chemistry

Jun Li, professor of chemistry, has been selected to receive the Segebrecht Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award for 2018. The honor includes $2,000 from the Ervin W. Segebrecht honorarium.

The Ervin W. Segebrecht Honorarium award was established in honor of Ervin W. Segebrecht, a 1938 graduate of Kansas State University, to recognize professors who provide inspiration and excellence in teaching.

Eligibility for the award is restricted to professors in the chemistry and chemical engineering departments. Candidates are judged on excellence in classroom instruction and research and published manuscripts in technical publications.

"It is certainly an honor to join those previous recipients," Li said. "The most important thing is that we continue the excellent scholarly activities in both research and teaching that they stand for."

Li received his Bachelor of Science from Wuhan University, and doctorate from Princeton University.

Research in the Li laboratory is in the interdisciplinary field of nanoscience and nanotechnology, with an emphasis on the development of novel applications of micro-/nanodevices in chemical/biochemical analysis, biomedicine, energy conversion and storage, environmental monitoring and protection, and electronics.

"Dr. Li's research involves the fabrication, characterization, and implementation of unique vertically aligned carbon nanofibers in energy conversion and storage applications as well as in chemical sensing," said Daniel Higgins, professor and head of the chemistry department. "Specific topics of interest include the development of new electrodes for use in fuel cells and batteries and the development of sensors for detecting protease activity in cancer diagnosis."

Li has published more than 160 manuscripts on these and related topics and has also been awarded 11 patents. He has delivered a large number of invited lectures at national and international conferences and at universities around the world. His research at K-State has been well-funded through multiple awards, providing around $5.6 million to his research group and those of his collaborators. These awards have come from the National Science Foundation, NASA, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Homeland Security and from several companies.

"I would like to bring my perspective views from previous work experience in industry and government labs to students and inspire them to apply the fundamental principles onto important problems in cross-disciplinary applications," Li said.