Sun receives prestigious Dreyfus Foundation Award

Assistant Professor Wenhao Sun earned the honor for Machine-Learning Classification of Materials Synthesizability
Sun receives prestigious Dreyfus Foundation Award

Assistant Professor Wenhao Sun

MSE is pleased to announce that Assistant Professor Wenhao Sun recently received a grant from the Machine Learning in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering program at the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation for Machine-Learning Classification of Materials Synthesizability.

“Professor Sun is highly deserving of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation award,” stated MSE Chair Amit Misra. “He is pioneering novel machine learning approaches to guide solid-state chemical synthesis of novel alloys and compounds for clean energy technologies of the future.”

The overarching goal of the Sun Research Group is to predict the synthesis and synthesizability of computationally designed materials. The group recently conducted a major Natural Language Processing effort to text-mine materials synthesis recipes from the scientific literature. However, these recipes only contain cases of successful materials syntheses, as people generally do not publish synthesis results when their reactions are unsuccessful. 

According to Sun, the goal of this Dreyfus proposal will be to develop new Bayesian machine-learning approaches that can classify materials synthesizability using a training dataset that contains only positive success cases.

"It is a great honor to be recognized by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation in supporting our efforts to better understand materials synthesis and synthesizability,” commented Sun. “We are excited to develop new machine-learning approaches to address this urgent and fundamental materials science problem."

Established in 1946 by chemist, inventor, and businessman Camille Dreyfus as a memorial to his brother Henry, the mission of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation is to advance the science of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences as a means of improving human relations and circumstances throughout the world. Throughout its history the Foundation has taken the lead in supporting young faculty accomplished in both research and teaching, furthering the applications of machine learning, and recognizing exceptional and original research that has advanced the field.