A University of Houston physicist has been honored with the Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Science from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas (TAMEST).
Zhifeng Ren, M.D. Anderson Chair Professor of Physics and principal investigator at the Texas Center for Superconductivity, is one of four Texas researchers selected for the 2014 O'Donnell Awards.
The O'Donnell Awards were established in 2005 to recognize Texas' most promising researchers, whose work is judged by professional performance, creativity and resourcefulness. They will be formally presented on Jan. 16 at TAMEST's annual conference at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort near Austin.
Ren was cited for making seminal contributions in five scientific fields: carbon nanotubes, thermoelectrics, hierarchical zinc oxide nanowires, high temperature superconductivity, and molecule delivery/sensing. He was the first to grow aligned carbon nanotube arrays in large scale, to make nanostructured bulk thermoelectric materials with much improved properties, and to synthesize hierarchical zinc oxide nanowires.
He also was named Tuesday as a fellow in the 2013 Class of the National Academy of Inventors.
"Dr. Ren's innovative research serves as an admirable example of what we are striving to do here at the University of Houston," said UH President Renu Khator. "This groundbreaking work can be used to improve lives in Texas and around the world. His recognition by The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas is both gratifying and well-deserved."
Success in science, Ren said, requires a mix of intelligence and persistence.
"You don't want to be a 100-meter dash person," he said. "You have to be persistent. Of course, you have to have intelligence. If you aren't smart enough, it doesn't matter how persistent you are."
Ren, who was recruited to UH from Boston College in 2012, has displayed a persistence that has allowed
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University of Houston