Sustainable materials expert Emily Davidson wins SEAS junior faculty award

May 15, 2023

Emily Davidson, an expert in designing sustainable materials, has won the Alfred Rheinstein Faculty Award from Princeton's School of Engineering and Applied Science, one of the school's annual honors for junior faculty.

An assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering, Davidson focuses on soft polymeric materials to address pressing needs in health and the environment. Her team works at the intersection of polymer synthesis, polymer characterization, polymer physics and self-assembly, and additive manufacturing.

Last year, she received an early career award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science to investigate new heating and cooling materials. She has received additional support for innovative and collaborative work from Princeton Engineering’s Project X innovation fund, on a new form of printing for polymer nanostructures; from Princeton’s Schmidt Transformative Technology Fund, on materials for urban flood mitigation; and from the Princeton Alliance for Collaborative Research and Innovation, for research with Jackson State University on energy storage technology.

Davidson’s research aims to “enable the design and manufacturing of hierarchical materials that mimic the complex functions and responses currently found in biological systems,” said department chair Christos Maravelias in nominating her for the award. “Such integration will enable transformative applications from the small scale, such as biomedical devices and soft robots, through the infrastructure scale,” such as structural support materials, he added.