Awards and Honors

Two Northwestern faculty receive inaugural Stoddart Award

By Amanda Morris

June 17, 2021

Omar Farha, Mark Hersam honored for contributions to field of functional materials

Northwestern University’s Omar Farha and Mark C. Hersam have received the inaugural AAAFM-Stoddart Award from the American Association for Advances in Functional Materials (AAAFM).

Named for Northwestern professor and Nobel Laureate Sir Fraser Stoddart, the award recognizes two dynamic young researchers for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the field of functional materials.

Farha and Hersam will receive the award at the third annual AAAFM-UCLA Conference on Functional Materials, held virtually Aug. 18-20, 2021. Stoddart, the Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry, will deliver the conference’s plenary talk.

farha stoddart award
Omar Farha

Farha will receive the award for “his seminal contributions to the field of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs),” accelerating their potential for applications that could help reduce energy consumption, protect human health and counter climate change.

Farha is the Dow Chemical Company Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, a member of the International Institute of Nanotechnology (IIN) and an associate editor of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. By combining chemistry with materials science, he designs programmable, cutting-edge MOFs for use in gas storage, water remediation and detoxification of chemical warfare agents.

A fellow of the European Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Arab Scientists, Farha has received numerous other awards for his work, including the Kuwait Prize from the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences as well as early career awards from the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Chemical Society. Northwestern also established the Omar Farha Award for Research Leadership, which is given annually to an outstanding research scientist who has demonstrated “stewardship, cooperation and leadership in the finest pursuit of research in chemistry.” A highly cited researcher, Farha holds 17 patents and has published more than 520 published papers.

hersam stoddart award
Mark Hersam

Hersam received the AAAFM-Stoddart Award for his “pioneering contributions to the synthesis, surface science, chemical functionalization and application of low-dimensional nano-electronic materials.”

Hersam is the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering, director of the Materials Research Center and member of the IIN. He also holds faculty appointments in chemistry, applied physics, medicine and electrical engineering. His research interests include nanomaterials, nanomanufacturing, scanning probe microscopy, nano-electronic devices, biosensors and renewable energy.

A highly cited researcher, Hersam has received several awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, a MacArthur “Genius” Award, the Medard W. Welch Award from the American Vacuum Society (AVS), the Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the Materials Research Society (MRS) and eight Teacher of the Year Awards from Northwestern. He also is a fellow of the MRS, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the AVS, SPIE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the National Academy of Inventors.