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Ayusman Sen, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Penn State University, has been honored with the Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI) Medal. Sen is only the second recipient of the medal, which is awarded exclusively to outstanding chemists of Indian origin who work outside of India.
Sen's research encompasses the twin themes of catalysis and new materials, with one of the goals being the development of new catalysts that will enable the synthesis of polymers and related materials with novel combinations of properties. Sen also is developing antimicrobial polymers and composites that can be used to coat surfaces to render them antiseptic and resistant to biofilm formation. These materials are potentially useful as antimicrobial coatings in a wide variety of biomedical and general-use applications. Sen also is interested in developing methods for miniature "engines" to convert chemical energy into motion, providing the power for microscale and nanoscale motors and pumps through catalytic reactions.
Among Sen's earlier awards are a Faculty Scholar Medal from Penn State in 2003, a Paul J. Flory Sabbatical Award from IBM in 1988, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship from 1984 to 1988, and a Young Investigator Award from the Chevron Research Company in 1982. He was named a Penn State Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in early 2010, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2006. He has held named professorships and lectureships at several universities including the Gerhard Closs Lectureship at the University of Chicago in 2002, the Iberdrola Visiting Professorship at the University of Valladolid in Spain from 1999 to 2000, and the Imperial Oil Distinguished Lectureship at the University of Toronto in Canada in 1993.
Sen was a research fellow at the California Institute of Technology until 1979, when he joined the faculty of the Penn State Department of Chemistry as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1984 and to professor in 1989. He received a doctoral degree from the University of Chicago in 1978 and a master's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur in 1973. He earned a bachelor's degree with honors at the University of Calcutta in India in 1970.
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