The 2019 KINGFA Young Investigator Award winner is Dr Johan Foster, Associate Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. Johan’s work has encompassed a number of fundamental contributions to the field of fibers and cellulose nanomaterials, including chemical modification, surface chemistry, and fundamental interactions.
Specific examples that have had a large impact on application development include:
(i) phosphorylation for increased thermal resistance of cellulose nanomaterials in elevated temperature processing or applications;
(ii) developing supramolecular chemistries that leverage surface hydrogen bonding for self-healing and reinforcement (of non-supramolecular polymers);
(iii) understanding of nanofillers into polymers, and the rheology, orientation and reinforcement mechanisms;
(iv) use of structured materials for implants in the body, often utilizing cellulose as a scaffold;
(v) using cellulose nanocrystals as a catalyst for polymerization of polyethylene.
Congratulations to Johan!