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Chancellor’s Honor for Jian Liu

Assitant Professor Jian LiuAssistant Professor Jian Liu keeps adding lines to his CV, most recently with recognition at this year’s Chancellor’s Honors for Professional Promise in Research and Development. These awards honor UT early-career faculty members for excellence in research, scholarship, and creative achievement.

Liu joined UT in 2015 after posts as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and as a doctoral fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His research is in condensed matter physics, specifically novel quantum materials that help illuminate emergent phenomena and innovative concepts for nanotechnologies. His work has won funding from sponsors including the US Department of Energy (recently renewed) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, as well as the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. His previous honors include the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, the College of Arts and Sciences Early Career Award for Research and Creativity, and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He is also a recipient of the Visiting Scientist Award by the X-ray Science Division at the Argonne National Laboratory.

Teaching both inside and outside the classroom is a priority for Liu. He has supervised four graduate students, eight undergraduates, and three postdoctoral scholars working in his lab at the UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Advanced Materials and a number of large national facilities, including synchrotrons and a high magnetic field laboratory. Their work has led to more than 30 publications, most of which are published in well-recognized journals such as Nature Physics, Nature Communications, and Physical Review Letters. Liu’s team always has positions for young researchers, and he is eager to explore new scientific adventures with them.

"My achievements would not be possible without the hard work and contributions from the students and postdocs," he said.

Liu holds a bachelor’s degree from Nanjing University in China, a master’s from the University of Houston, and a PhD from the University of Arkansas.

This year’s Chancellor’s Honors awardees were given the opportunity to explain the role UT has played in their careers, and Liu’s statement was as follows:

Joining UT made my dream come true with the opportunity to build my own research lab and research team for advancing the frontier of physics. The materials research community at UT is special. So many colleagues here not only share the same interests with me but also provide highly diverse and complementary expertise, which cannot be found elsewhere. That allows me to turn ‘crazy’ ideas and fantasies into reality. Without the synergy, my achievements would have not been possible. I cannot image my science adventure elsewhere other than at UT.

For a full list of this year’s awardees, please visit

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