Zhen-Gang Wang, Caltech's Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering and executive officer for chemical engineering, has been selected to receive the 2024 Polymer Physics Prize by the American Physical Society (APS). According to the society, the prize "recognizes outstanding accomplishment and excellence of contributions in polymer physics research." The APS Polymer Physics Prize is considered the most prestigious international prize in polymer physics research.
Wang's work seeks to explain the behaviors and properties of long-chain molecules based on their atomic constitutions and interactions using the method of statistical mechanics by a combination of theoretical and computational techniques.
"I feel incredibly honored and humbled to receive this prize," Wang says. "It is heartwarming to have the support and appreciation from the community."
Wang joined the Caltech faculty after earning his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Peking (Beijing) University and his PhD in chemistry from the University of Chicago.
Wang is a fellow of the American Physical Society and has received many other awards and honors, including the Camille Dreyfus Teacher–Scholar Award (1995), the Alfred P. Sloan Award (1996), the Braskem Award for Excellence in Materials Engineering and Science from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) (2018), and the AIChE Alpha Chi Sigma Award (2023). In 2008, Caltech awarded Wang with its highest teaching honor, the Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching.
"Zhen-Gang is a world-class scholar and teacher," says Dennis Dougherty, the George Grant Hoag Professor of Chemistry and Norman Davidson Leadership Chair of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. "This award from the APS recognizes that his work is making important and lasting contributions to his field."