UCLA Engineering Professor Receives Packard Fellowship

Yuzhang Li

UCLA Samueli

Oct 16, 2023

UCLA Samueli Newsroom

Yuzhang Li, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, has been selected as a 2023 Packard Fellow for Science and Engineering by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. 

Since its establishment in 1988, the annual fellowship program has awarded 20 scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers, including a five-year, $875,000 grant in unrestricted funds for each recipient.

At UCLA, Li leads a research group that works on developing energy and environmental technologies, including advances in fundamental characterization of chemical processes and the design of new materials. The fellowship will support his research exploring the atomic-scale interface between liquids and solids. The electric field at this interface, also known as an electrical double layer, governs important processes, including how batteries operate to communications between biological cells. Li and his team are creating novel tools that can directly image this elusive interface and provide new insights for technologies in sustainability and health.

“From the nanoscale to the scale of the galaxies, the 2023 class of Fellows are making ground-breaking discoveries, conducting critical research, and leaving a lasting impact on the scientific community and our world,” said Jason Burnett, Packard Foundation Board Chair. “Their ability to strive for the impossible is a contagious source of hope for those looking to change the field of science and will serve as inspiration for the next generation of researchers.”

Li joined UCLA Samueli in 2020 and is also a faculty member of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA. Among his many honors and recognitions are the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Department of Energy Early Career award and the ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship. 

Previous recipients of the Packard Fellowship on the UCLA Samueli faculty include Dino Di Carlo, Yi Tang and Richard Kaner. 

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