The 2021 KINGFA Young Investigator Award winner is Dr. Feng Jiang, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Wood Science at the University of British Columbia, and Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Sustainable Functional Biomaterials. Dr. Jiang received his PhD in 2011 from Virginia Tech, under the supervision of Professor Maren Roman. Prior to joining UBC as an Assistant Professor in 2018, he received postdoctoral training from University of California Davis, under the supervision of Prof. You-Lo Hsieh, and University of Maryland College Park, under the supervision of Prof. Liangbing Hu. Dr. Jiang currently manages the Sustainable Functional Biomaterials (SFB) lab focusing on the valorization of forest and agricultural biomass using nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing techniques.
In his early research, Dr. Jiang has successfully developed two desulfation technologies that can effectively remove the negative sulfate group from cellulose nanocrystals. This seminal work has made significant contribution in later researches that try to understand the interaction between native crystalline cellulose and other biological molecules. He is also actively pursuing novel and sustainable isolation methods using recyclable solvent to develop lignocellulosic nanomaterials from more recalcitrant substrate, such as thermomechanical pulp and wood powder, in order to reduce the carbon footprint during nanocellulose isolation.
His efforts on understanding the assembly of nanocellulose and the interaction between nanocellulose and water molecule have led to substantial development of various types of novel materials including continuous sub-micron fibers, super elastic and absorbent aerogel, hydrogel, 3D printed monolith, and superstrong and tough wood. He also focuses on exploring advanced applications of nanocellulose in emerging fields, including water treatment, thermal storage and management, energy conversion and storage, sensors, and electronics.
Congratulations to Feng!