Professor Tao Xu’s research on nanomaterials is so well recognized nationally and internationally, that he’s one of the most coveted and invited speakers at renowned institutes and universities around the world.
Closer to home, he’s put NIU on the map as the center of innovative research in the field of material science, attracting more than a million dollars in grant funds from prestigious organizations such as the National Science Foundation.
For his work, he’s earned countless awards, including NIU’s Excellence in Innovation Award.
The professor in NIU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry added another honor to the list in 2019 — a prestigious Presidential Research, Artistry and Scholarship Professorship.
Colleagues in his field say the honor is well deserved.
“Professor Xu has demonstrated striking intelligence and creativity, gigantic momentum and energetic ambition in pursuing forefront challenges in his field,” said Yi Liu, Ph.D., staff scientist and facility director at the Berkeley National Laboratory in California. “He is never satisfied with his current achievements and keeps pursuing more grand challenges in science.
“He has enormous potential to achieve a greater level of global impact in his field and to bring up the reputation of the university,” Liu added.
All of Xu’s Ph.D. graduates from NIU have gone on to prestigious postdoctoral positions in national laboratories or leading business corporations. He credits the many people he’s encountered since he came to NIU in 2006 for his professorship.
“This award is also a recognition to all the undergraduate and graduate students who have worked in my group and contributed to my research projects over the years; a reflection of the continuous support from my colleagues, collaborators, my department, College of LAS and NIU; and an encouragement for me to pursue more challenging world-class research together with my students,” Xu said.