Ya Zhuo Receives Dan E. Wells Outstanding Dissertation Award

Award Recognizes Significance and Impact of Research

Each semester, the Dan E. Wells Outstanding Dissertation Award is presented to a doctoral student who has performed outstanding research and submitted the best dissertation to the College. The Spring 2021 recipient was Ya Zhuo, a Ph.D. graduate in the Department of Chemistry.

Ya Zhuo

The award was announced at the University of Houston Commencement for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics on May 17. Zhuo received a certificate and an award of $1,000.

Her dissertation was “Developing Rare-Earth Substituted Inorganic Phosphors Through Machine Learning.”

Zhuo’s research combined state-of-the-art machine learning methods with advanced computational modeling and experimental material chemistry techniques, with the goal of facilitating the development of new luminescent material to be used in solid-state light, LED bulbs. Her advisor was Jakoah Brgoch.

Nominated dissertations are evaluated for:

  • Significance and impact of the research
  • Originality of the work
  • Quality of the scholarship
  • Quality of the presentation and organization of the dissertation

Zhuo will be starting a postdoctoral position at University of California, Santa Barbara.

- Kathy Major, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics