About Ying

Principal Investigator

Ying Diao

Associate Professor
I. C. Gunsalus Scholar
Dow Chemical Company Faculty Scholar
Lincoln Excellence for Assistant Professor (LEAP) Scholar
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Department of Materials Science and Engineering 
Department of Chemistry 
Materials Research Laboratory
Executive Committee & CO-Chair of Molecular Science and Engineering Theme, Beckman
  Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
Molecular Maker Lab Institute Executive Committee
Thrust Leader of AI-Guided Autonomous Materials Discovery, Molecular Maker Lab Institute
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
213 Roger Adams Laboratory
600 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana, IL 61801
Email : yingdiao [at] illinois.edu
Phone : (217) 300 3505

Short Bio

Professor Diao is a Beckman Fellow, Dow Chemical Company Faculty Scholar, Lincoln Excellence for Assistant Professor (LEAP) Scholar at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 2012. Her doctoral thesis was on understanding heterogeneous nucleation of pharmaceuticals by designing polymeric substrates. In her subsequent postdoctoral training at Stanford University, she pursued research in the thriving field of printed electronics. Diao group, started in 2015 at Illinois, focuses on understanding assembly of organic functional materials and innovating printing approaches that enable structural control down to the molecular and nanoscale. Her work has been frequently featured in scientific journals and news media such as the Science Magazine and Nature Materials. She is named to the MIT Technology Review’s annual list of Innovators Under 35 as a pioneer in nanotechnology and materials. She is also a recipient of NSF CAREER Award, NASA Early Career Faculty Award, 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award and was selected as a Sloan Research Fellow in Chemistry as one of the “very best scientific minds working today”.


2011 – 2014 Postdoctoral Scholar
                  Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University
                  Material Science Division, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
                  Topics : Solution printing and in situ X-ray scattering of organic semiconductors

2006 – 2011 Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, MIT
                  Minor : Materials Science and Engineering
                  Thesis : Design of polymeric substrates for controlled molecular crystallization

2006 – 2008 M.S., Chemical Engineering Practice, MIT

2002 – 2006 B.S., Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University

Selected Awards and Honors

2022     New Horizons Solvay Lectures in Chemistry, International Solvay Institutes

2022     Thiele Award Lecture, University of Notre Dame

2022     “Rising Star” series of Advanced Materials

2022     Soft Matter Emerging Investigator

2021     List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent, Fa’16, Sp’18, Sp’20, Fa’20, Fa’21

2021     Campus Distinguished Promotion Award

2021     I. C. Gunsalus Scholar, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

2020     NASA Early Career Faculty Award

2020     Rising Star in Materials Chemistry, Chemistry of Materials “Up-and-Coming Series”

2020     List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent, Fall 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

2020     Emerging Investigator, Chemical Society Reviews, the Royal Society of Chemistry

2019     Lincoln Excellence for Assistant Professor (LEAP) Scholar, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

2019     Beckman Fellow, Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2019     Early Career Award, AVS Prairie Chapter

2019     Emerging Investigator in Crystal Growth & Design, ACS Publications

2019     Emerging Investigator, Molecular Systems Design & Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry

2019     Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2018     NSF CAREER Award

2018     3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award

2018     Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Chemistry

2018     Chemistry of Materials Reviewer Excellence Award, ACS Publications

2017     School of Chemical Sciences Teaching Award, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2017     US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, National Academy of Engineering

2016     MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 (MIT TR35 Award)

2016     Emerging Investigator, Journal of Materials Chemistry, the Royal Society of Chemistry

2014     William E. and Diane M. Spicer Young Investigator Award, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

2014     Best Oral Contribution Award, Materials Research Society – Organic Electronics Symposium

2011     Separations Division Graduate Research Award, AIChE

2011     Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year, MIT

2006     Bayer Graduate Fellowship, Chemical Engineering, MIT

2006     Institute Excellent Graduate Award, Tsinghua University

2006     Outstanding Senior Thesis Award, Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University

Diao Research Group

3514 Beckman institute

405 N. Mathews Ave., 

Urbana, IL 61801

prof. Ying Diao

3265 Beckman institute


URBANA, IL 61801


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