Sun’s research connects engineering principles with industry needs

Andy Sun

Western Engineering News | May 23, 2014

Andy (Xueliang) Sun has built an international reputation for leading the field of nanomaterials and clean energy and in recognition of his significant accomplishments, he is named the 2013 recipient of the Engineering Prize for Achievement in Research.

“Dr. Sun is one of the most successful professors in material science, specifically in the area of applications of nanotechnology for creation of energy efficient materials,” says nominator Jerzy M. Floryan, chair of the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. “He is well respected for building a large research group and an excellent quality of the research work.”

Recently upgraded to a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, Sun has accumulated several research awards since joining Western Engineering in 2004. He received the Early Researcher Award in 2006, was awarded the Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in 2007 and named a Faculty Scholar in 2010. He has garnered an international reputation as a well-respected researcher in the areas of nanomaterials and clean energy.

“His research projects are quite diverse with extensive industrial collaboration, which demonstrates strong connection between engineering principles and their practical applications,” notes Floryan.

In particular, Sun has made groundbreaking contributions to developing new approaches to synthesize low-dimensional nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes, and their applications as electrochemical electrodes for energy conversion and storage, including fuel cells and Li-ion batteries.

He has published 162 peer-reviewed papers in internationally leading scientific journals since 2007. Of these publications, 21 were highlighted on the cover of the journals and/or garnered media coverage.

As well, he secured eight U.S. patents during this time.

“Dr. Sun has been successful in securing high levels of funding since joining Western,” says Floryan, adding this includes $3 million for infrastructure and $6 million for operating costs. “The funding has been used to establish a unique laboratory and build up an effective research team.”

Sun has mentored several notable graduate and postdoctoral students who have become leaders in their field – working in academia, industry and various research laboratories. His students and fellows have obtained 21 awards, including the 2012 Governor General’s Gold Medal, NSERC and OGS scholarships, as well as fellowship and travel awards.

In recognition of Sun’s significant research contributions, he has been awarded the Engineering Prize for Achievement in Research. Sun will be presented with the award at the Western Engineering Faculty & Staff Awards Luncheon on June 18.