Lear awarded 3M Nontenured Faculty Grant

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Benjamin Lear, an assistant professor of chemistry, was awarded a 3M Nontenured Faculty Grant. This award, which is administered by 3M Research and Development in partnership with the Corporate Giving Program, recognizes outstanding new faculty. It is intended to help young faculty members to achieve tenure, to teach and to conduct research.

Lear's research focuses on the science of energy conversion and the investigation of chemical reactions involving electron transfer. His research has many practical applications to materials and energy science. The 3M award was given for work that seeks to use the photothermal effect of nanoparticles to drive chemical reactions. This effect allows Lear and his co-workers to raise and lower the local temperature of materials by a few thousand degrees in a matter of nanoseconds. This approach will enable many transformations, both in chemistry and materials science, which are currently either difficult or impossible to accomplish using traditional approaches to synthesis.

Before joining Penn State as a faculty member, Lear was a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State University. He has authored many papers published in journals including Inorganic Chemistry, the Journal of the American Chemical Society and the Journal of Physical Chemistry. He has presented his research at meetings and symposia across the United States.

Lear earned doctoral and master's degrees in inorganic chemistry at the University of California at San Diego in 2007 and 2004, respectively. He received a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of California at Davis in 2002.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015