Mark T. Swihart, professor of chemical and biological engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, has been named the recipient of the 2013 Jacob F. Schoellkopf Medal.
The medal, given annually by the Western New York section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), honors individuals from the Buffalo Niagara region for outstanding work and service in the fields of chemical engineering or chemistry. The society has presented the medal since 1931, making it the oldest award of its kind in the nation.
A UB faculty member since 1998, Swihart will be presented with the medal in “recognition of his pioneering research in the field of inorganic nanoparticle synthesis and processing, and for his outstanding record of accomplishment in scholarship, teaching, and service in the field of chemistry in Western New York” at a ceremony on Sept. 17, according to ACS.
Swihart was raised in rural Indiana, near Goshen. He earned a bachelor’s of science degree in chemical engineering from Rice University in 1992, and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1997. He resides in Amherst with his wife Wendy and three children.
Today, Swihart serves as director of the UB 2020 Strategic Strength in Integrated Nanostructured Systems, which guides the university’s nanoscience and nanotechnology research. His work centers primarily on:
- the synthesis, surface modification and applications of nanomaterials.
- chemical nucleation and growth of aerosol particles.
- detailed chemical kinetic, fluid dynamic and aerosol dynamic modeling of high-temperature vapor phase materials processing.
Primarily funded by the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and industry, his research may help improve optoelectronics such as light-emitting diodes and solar cells. His discoveries could have imaging applications useful in medicine, environmental research and other fields.
Additionally, Swihart serves as co-director of UB's New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics. Its mission is to coordinate and expand UB’s research at the intersection of materials science and informatics and to make that expertise more accessible and more valuable to industry, particularly in the Buffalo Niagara region. UB plans to partner with government, industry and other universities, as well as serve as an incubator for startup technology companies.
Swihart is a past recipient of the J.B. Wagner Young Investigator Award from the High Temperature Materials division of the Electrochemical Society and the Kenneth Whitby Award from the American Association of Aerosol Research. He has been selected four times as "Professor of the Year" by undergraduates in his department and he has been honored by the McNair Scholars program and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation.
He has co-authored more than 120 peer-reviewed journal manuscripts and three book chapters. He is co-inventor on five U.S. patents and has served as an advisor to about 40 master’s and doctoral students, and more than 70 undergraduates.