Jonathan Pham, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, has received a 2021 College of Engineering Excellence in Research Award.
Jonathan Pham joined the UK College of Engineering faculty in 2017. His research focus seeks to understand the behavior of soft materials, primarily at or near interfaces. Using these materials successfully requires understanding how to control their interactions with other surfaces and materials. Since his arrival at UK, Pham has been named PI on four active grants totaling $1.25 million. Earlier this year, Pham received the prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. His project "Wetting and dynamics on soft and swollen polymeric surfaces" aims to provide fundamental knowledge on the relationships between materials-specific properties and the wetting behavior of soft, swollen and crosslinked polymers. He is also the recipient of a New Doctoral Investigator grant from the ACS Petroleum Research Fund, which starts in the fall and aims to understand local morphologies of capillary suspensions. Pham is Co-PI on a Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need grant, which seeks to educate graduate students in materials research and teaching while increasing the number of traditionally underrepresented students working toward Ph.D. degrees in materials science and engineering. Pham has published seven papers in the past year, including papers in Science Advances and Communications Materials, and had a cover feature in Soft Matter.