Indian American professor named “University Scholar” in Illinois

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Prashant Jain – professor, chemistry. Photo: illinois.edu

An Indian American professor, Prashant Jain, is among five faculty at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign named University Scholars “in recognition of their excellence in teaching, scholarship and service,” the University said. The award is presented by the University of Illinois System to faculty members from the Chicago, Springfield and Urbana universities, the news posted March 24, 2023, said.

The scholars program provides $15,000 to each scholar for three years running to use for travel, equipment, research assistants, books or other purposes.

“We value the critical role of our diverse, world-class faculty in maintaining the University of Illinois System’s preeminence as a global leader in higher education,” Nicholas Jones, the System’s executive vice president and vice president for academic affairs, is quoted saying in the press release on the website. “Continuing to support their efforts remains a top priority, and recognition as a University Scholar is one example of how we look to demonstrate that.

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His nominator describes Prashant Jain, a professor of chemistry, as “a world leader in three high-impact fields of research: artificial photosynthesis, catalysis and fundamental nanoscience. “

His teaching record is described as “superb” in advanced laboratory courses and undergraduate and graduate lecture courses in physical chemistry. “He is particularly recognized for making technically challenging concepts in statistical mechanics and thermodynamics accessible to students.”

The description goes on to say that Jain is helping “reimagine and reinvent” how chemicals and fuels are manufactured. And that with the discoveries and ideas from his laboratory, “capital and energy-intensive, carbon-emitting facilities could in the future be replaced by distributed photoreactors that deploy solar photons for sustainable, zero-carbon manufacturing.”

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