About Ying

Principal Investigator

Ying Diao

Associate Professor
University Scholar, Dow Chemical Company Faculty Scholar
Departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering
Thrust leader, Molecule Maker Lab Institute
Co-Chair, Molecular Science and Engineering Theme, Beckman Institute 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Address: 3265 Beckman Institute, 405 N Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801

Email: yingdiao@illinois.edu

Short Bio

Ying Diao is an Associate Professor, University Scholar and Dow Chemical Company Faculty Scholar in Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She serves as the Co-Chair of Molecular Science and Engineering in the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology, and a Thrust Lead of the Molecular Maker Lab Institute – an NSF AI Institute. 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. She has over 100 publications which have been cited close to 10,000 times. Her work has been frequently featured in scientific journals and news media. 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

2024 Owens Corning Early Career Award, AIChE

2024 MRS-Kavli Foundation Frontiers of Materials Symposium X Lecture

2024 Early Career Distinguished Presenter, Materials Research Society

2023 Emerging Research Leaders Academy, University of Illinois

2023 University Scholar, University of Illinois

2023 New Horizons Solvay Lectures in Chemistry, International Solvay Institutes

2023 List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent, Fa’16, Sp’18, Sp’20, Fa’20, Fa’21, Fa’22

2022 Van Ness Award Lecture, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

2022 Thiele Award Lecture, University of Notre Dame

2022 “Rising Star” series of Advanced Materials

2022 Soft Matter Emerging Investigator

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 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

2019 Early Career Award, AVS Prairie Chapter

2019 Emerging Investigator in Crystal Growth & Design, ACS Publications

2019 Emerging Investigator, Molecular Systems Design & Engineering, 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

2017 Chemistry of Materials Reviewer Excellence Award, ACS Publications

2017 SCS 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, 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, MIT

2006 Bayer Graduate Fellowship, Chemical Engineering, MIT

2006 Institute Excellent Graduate Award, Tsinghua University

2006 Outstanding Senior Thesis Award, Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University

2003 Dow Chemical Scholarship, 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


                      © 2021 Diao Research Group