Principal Investigator


Prof. Guihua Yu 

Director, NanoTech for Energy, Environment, & Sustainability (NEES)
Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering  
Texas Materials Institute, UT Energy Institute
The University of Texas at Austin
Office: ETC 9.178
Labs: ETC 9.164 & 9.166 & 9.172, GLT 2.204
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


B.Sc., Chemistry (summa cum laude), University of Science and Technology of China, 2003
Ph.D., Chemistry, Harvard University, 2009
Postdoc., Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, 2012

Selected Honors and Awards

  • Featured Scientist as Climate Warrior by People Magazine, 2024
  • Falling Walls Science Breakthrough Award in Science & Engineering, 2024
  • Elected Fellow of IMMM (FIMMM), 2024
  • Advanced Materials Laureate by IAAM, 2024
  • Elected Fellow of AAAS, 2023
  • Blavatnik National Awards Honoree, 2023
  • Royal Society of Chemistry's Horizon Prize, 2023
  • Top Highly Cited Researchers in Materials Science and Chemistry (Thomson Reuters), 2023
  • 'Atmospheric Water Harvesting Technology' Research Highlight by Nature Magazine, 2023
  • Top 10 UT Austin Research Highlights in 2023, 2023
  • Top 5 Research Breakthroughs by Texas Engineering, 2023
  • World Laureates Association (WLA) Young Scientist Award, 2023
  • UN World Food Programme Innovation Award Finalist, 2023
  • Texas Proof of Concept Technology Award, 2023
  • Texas Global Engagement Research Highlight, 2023
  • Outstanding Research Award in Mechanical/Materials Engineering, UT Austin, 2023
  • Invited Official Nominator for The Kyoto Prize, 2023
  • Blavatnik National Awards Honoree in Physical Science and Engineering, 2022
  • Norman Hackerman Award in Chemical Research, The Welch Foundation, 2022
  • Elected Fellow of Materials Research Society (FMRS), 2022
  • Viskanta Lectureship, Purdue University, 2022
  • 'Atmospheric Water Harvesting GEL' Research Highlight by World Economic Forum, 2022
  • Temple Foundation Endowed Professorship, UT Austin, 2022
  • Top Highly Cited Researchers in Materials Science and Chemistry (Thomson Reuters), 2022
  • Top 6 Research Breakthroughs by Texas Engineering, 2022
  • Invited Nominee for The ENi Award ('Advanced Environmental Solutions Award'), 2022
  • Invited Official Nominator for The VinFuture Prize, 2022
  • Blavatnik National Awards Honoree in Physical Science and Engineering, 2021
  • Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Engineering, Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science (TAMEST), 2021
  • TMS Brimacombe Medalist Award, 2021
  • Top Highly Cited Researchers in Materials Science and Chemistry by Thomson Reuters (Clarivate), 2021
  • Top 10 UT Austin Research Highlights in 2021, 2021
  • 'Hydrogel Tablet to Purify Water' Research Highlight by World Economic Forum, 2021
  • IAAM Medal Award, 2021
  • Invited Nominee for The Edison Award (Materials Science), 2021
  • Elected Fellow of IAAM (FIAAM), 2021
  • William Murray Endowed Faculty Fellowship, UT Austin, 2021
  • Polymer International - IUPAC Award for Creativity in Applied Polymer Science, 2020
  • Outstanding Young Scientist by World Laureates Forum, 2020
  • Franklin Award for Outstanding Research, Teaching and Service, UT Austin, 2020
  • Top Highly Cited Researcher in Materials Science by Thomson Reuters (Clarivate), 2020
  • 'Self-Watering Soil' Technology Highlight by World Economic Forum, 2020
  • Best Editor Award by Nano Research (Springer), 2020
  • Lyondell Chemical Company Endowed Faculty Fellowship, UT Austin, 2020
  • 'Solar Water Technology' Research Highlight by Science Magazine, 2019
  • Elected Fellow of Institute of Physics (FInstP), 2019
  • IUPAC Periodic Table of Young Chemists (International Year of Periodic Table), 2019 
  • Lee Hsun Lectureship, Chinese Academy of Science (Institute of Metal Research), 2019
  • Top Highly Cited Researchers in Materials Science by Thomson Reuters (Clarivate), 2019
  • Young Innovator Award in Nano Energy, Nano Research (Springer), 2019
  • Associate Editor of ACS Materials Letters (a new flagship materials science ACS journal), 2019
  • Mike Walker Faculty Scholarship, UT Austin, 2019
  • DOE Early Career Award, 2018
  • Top Highly Cited Researchers by Thomson Reuters (Clarivate), 2018
  • ACS ENFL Emerging Researcher Award, 2018
  • Nano Letters Young Investigator Lectureship, 2018
  • Caltech's Resnick Young Investigator, 2018
  • HaiTian Distinguished Lectureship, Dalian University of Technology (China), 2018
  • Excellence in Energy, Advanced Energy Materials (Wiley), 2018
  • Elected Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), 2017
  • Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 2017
  • TMS Early Career Faculty Fellow Award, 2017
  • SMALL Young Innovator Award, 2017
  • Invited Official Nominator for The Heinz Awards, 2017
  • Invited Panelist and Writer for DOE Strategic Workshop ‘Basic Research Needs for Next Generation Electrical Energy Storage’, 2017
  • Top Highly Cited Researchers by Thomson Reuters (Clarivate), 2017
  • DongWu Energy Forum Lectureship, Soochow University (China), 2017
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, 2016
  • Chem Soc Rev Emerging Investigator Lectureship (Royal Society of Chemistry), 2016
  • Advisory/Editorial Board Member of Chem (flagship Chemistry journal by Cell Press); ACS Central Science, Chemistry of Materials (American Chemical Society); Batteries & Supercaps (energy technology journal by Wiley-VCH); Science China Chemistry (Science China Press); Energy & Environmental Materials (Wiley-VCH).
  • Emerging Young Investigator by Chemistry of Materials (American Chemical Society), 2016
  • Featured Invited Speaker by C&EN and 'Rockstar of Chemistry' at ACS National Meeting (Denver), 2015
  • 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, 2015
  • Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering Nominee from UTexas, 2015
  • ACS-PRF Young Investigator Award by American Chemical Society, 2015
  • ECS-Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship Finalist, 2015
  • National Academy of Engineering (NAE) U.S. Frontiers of Engineering (US FOE-NAE), 2015
  • ‘Austin Under 40’ Award Finalist in Science/Technology category, 2015
  • MIT Technology Review ‘35 Top Innovators Under 35’ worldwide (TR-35), 2014 
  • UTexas Diversity Mentoring Fellowship, 2014
  • Editorial Board of Nature Scientific Reports, Frontiers in Energy Research, Science China - Materials by Science China Press (the most influential scientific press in China), Energy Storage Materials (Elsevier), Applied Nanoscience (Springer)
  • Emerging Young Investigator by Journal of Materials Chemistry (Royal Society of Chemistry), 2014
  • Ralph E. Powe Jr. Faculty Award, 2013
  • First Place in Engineering at ‘Texas Energy Research Challenge Competition’, 2013
  • IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists (one of five winners worldwide for best thesis research), 2010
  • MRS Outstanding Graduate Student Award, 2007
  • Harvard University Distinguished Undergraduates Teaching Award, 2006
  • Presidential Guo-Moruo Scholarship, the Highest Honor for Graduates from USTC, 2003


Dr. Guihua Yu is Temple Foundation Endowed Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, affiliated with Texas Materials Institute, UT Energy Institute and UT Chemistry. Yu received Ph.D. degree from Harvard University in 2009, after graduating from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) with the highest honor in 2003. Dr. Yu did his postdoc research at Stanford University (2009-2012).

Prof. Yu currently directs the Center for NanoTech for Energy, Environment, & Sustainability (NEES), with key research focuses on creative design and synthesis of functional nanostructured materials, particularly organic and hybrid nanomaterials, fundamental understanding of their chemical and physical properties, and developing nanoscience-enabled solutions to address global challenges in advanced energy, environment and sustainability technologies. Yu has published ~330 peer-reviewed scientific papers in many prominent scientific journals (~100,000 total citations, H-index~182) including Science, Nature, PNAS, Nature Reviews MaterialsNature Reviews ChemistryNature MaterialsNature Nanotechnology, Nature Energy, Nature Catalysis, Nature Sustainability, Nature Synthesis, Nature Water, Nature Communications, Science Advances, Chemical ReviewsChemical Society Reviews, Accounts of Chemical Research, Accounts of Materials Research, JACS, Angewandte Chemie, Advanced Materials, Chem, Joule, Matter, Energy & Environmental Sciences, Nano LettersACS Nano, ACS Central Science, ACS Energy Letters, ACS Materials Letters, Chemistry of Materials, Chemical Science, Materials Horizons, Nanoscale Horizons, Materials Today, Nano Today, Adv. Energy Mater., Adv. Funct. Mater., Applied Physics Reviews, Chemical Physics Reviews, etc. He has been consistently ranked among The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds as one of Top Highly Cited Researchers in both fields of Materials Science and Chemistry by Thomson Reuters (Web of Science) since 2017. In addition, Yu has published ~20 US and international patents and pending patents. His research works have been widely featured in over 200 major science and technology media worldwide, such as Nature, Science, Science News, ABC News, NBC News, Fox News, CNBC News, CBS News, BBC News, Bloomberg, Axios, Forbes, Discovery, National Geographic, Scientific American, NPR, Thomson Reuters, World Economic Forum, Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, The Economist, People Magazine, Business Standard, Wired, Daily Mail (UK), The Times (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Sueddeutsche Zeitung(Germany), Frankfurter Allgemeine (Germany), La Repubblica (Italy), Al Jazeera (Arabic), France News, USA Today, CGTN, XINHUA (China), SINA (China), SOHU (China), Tencent (China), The Indian Express, Times of India, Irish Times, Daily Telegraph (Australia), The Australian, (Australia), Daily Post (Korea), National Post (Canada), Science Daily, R&D Magazine, MIT Technology Review, Boston Globe, Popular Science, Ars Technica, The Weather Channel, Science Friday, Futurism, New Scientist, New Atlas, Reddit, Yahoo!, C&EN, Gizmodo, Gizmag, IEEE Spectrum, E&T, Design News, Phys.Org, SciTech Daily, Chemistry World, Materials World, Physics World, MRS Bulletin, Chemistry Views, Materials Views, Advanced Science News, Popular Mechanics, Daily Texan, Texas Monthly, Texas Tribune, Austin American-Statesman, Austin Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, The Alcalde, etc.

Yu is an elected Fellow of AAAS, MRS, IMMM, RSC, IOP and IAAM, and member of NYAS, ACS, TMS, ECS, IWA and IEEE. He serves as Chair of MRS News Committee-Nano Focus, Vice Chair of ECS Texas Section and ECS Battery Division Member-at-Large. He has lead or co-lead over 20 international/national scientific symposia in ACS, MRS, ECS, TMS, PacifiChem and TSRC. He currently serves as Associate Editor of ACS Materials Letters, a flagship materials journal of American Chemical Society, and also serves in advisory/editorial board of over 20 top peer-reviewed chemistry and materials science journals, such as Chem, Chemical Society Reviews, ACS Central Science, ACS Materials Letters, Chemistry of Materials, Nature Scientific Reports, Energy Storage Materials, Nano Research, Nano Research Energy, Science China-Materials, Science China-Chemistry, Batteries & Supercaps, Energy & Environmental Materials, etc. He also served as invited guest editor for Chemical Society Reviews, PNAS, ACS Materials Letters, Chemistry of Materials, ACS AMI, Chem & Bio Engineering, Materials Horizons, Nanoscale Horizons, Small, Small Methods, EcoMat, Next Nanotechnology, NPG Communications Materials, Materials Today Energy, Journal of Polymer Science, Batteries & Supercaps, Nanotechnology, Frontiers in Energy Research, etc. Yu has delivered ~200 plenary/keynote/invited academic seminars/lectures at international and national conferences and major universities. In addition, Yu has served as frequent reviewer for many prominent scientific journals including:

Science, Nature, PNAS, Nature Reviews Materials, Nature Reviews Chemistry, Nature Materials, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Energy, Nature Catalysis, Nature Sustainability, Nature Electronics, Nature Synthesis, Nature Water, Nature Chemical Engineering, Nature Commun., Science Robotics, Science Advances, Chem. Rev., Chem. Soc. Rev., Acc. Chem. Res., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., Adv. Mater., J. Am. Chem. Soc., Nano Lett., ACS Nano, ACS Central Science, ACS Energy Lett., Chem, Joule, Matter, Energy Environ. Sci., Chem. Sci., Mater. Horiz., Prog. in Mater. Sci., Prog. in Polymer Sci., Mater. Sci. Eng. R., Adv. Energy Mater., Adv. Funct. Mater., Nano Today, Mater. Today, Nano Energy, etc.