Judy Cha appointed Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Global Scholar

By Jon Atherton

Judy Cha, the Carol and Douglas Melamed Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science at Yale, has been appointed a Global Scholar by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). Cha is one of 15 exceptional early career investigators appointed to the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program in 2017.

The program funds and supports researchers within five years of their first academic appointment, helping them build research networks and develop leadership skills. Members of the program’s second cohort come from the United States, Canada, India, Ghana, and Italy.

Cha’s research group at the Energy Sciences Institute at Yale’s West Campus focuses on synthesis and transport measurements of two-dimensional layered nanochalcogenides, in particular topological insulator nanoribbons and nanoplates. The group uses analytical scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy-loss spectroscopy to investigate the fundamental structure-property relationships of the synthesized nanomaterials for novel electronic, photonic, and plasmonic properties. Other chalcogenide systems are also investigated for energy applications.

After receiving her B.A.Sc. from Simon Fraser University (British Columbia, Canada), Cha earned her Ph.D. at Cornell University. She then served as a postdoctoral scholar in materials science and engineering at Stanford University. Cha joined the Yale faculty in 2013 as assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science.

“One of CIFAR’s highest priorities is to nurture the careers of the next generation of emerging

research leaders,” said CIFAR President and CEO Dr. Alan Bernstein. “The future of research depends on young people, and their energy and innovative thinking is key to developing new approaches for the challenges facing our world today. We are thrilled to provide opportunities for these emerging research leaders.”

Each scholar will receive $100,000 (CAD) in unrestricted research funding and become a part of one of CIFAR’s 12 research programs for two years. Scholars have the opportunity to be mentored by the world’s top researchers in their own area of research, and forge new collaborations.

Established in 1982, CIFAR is a Canadian‐based, global research organization, comprised of nearly 400 fellows, scholars and advisors from more than 130 institutions in 17 countries. The CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program is supported by the Azrieli Foundation and by the Love Family Leadership Development Fund.