Two Speed School Professors Honored at Inaugural Research and Scholarship Event

June 1, 2022

By Holly Hinson
From left: Dr. Hui Wang and Josh Spurgeon were honored at inaugural research and scholarship event.

From left: Dr. Hui Wang and Josh Spurgeon were honored at inaugural research and scholarship event.

Dr. Hui Wang, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Josh Spurgeon, Solar Fuels Theme Leader at the Conn Center for Renewable Energy, were two of the researchers recognized for their innovative contributions at the University of Louisville’s inaugural Research and Scholarship Awards, held March 29. The event honored UofL faculty and staff nominated by their colleagues or self-nominated for outstanding research and scholarship accomplishments in fiscal year 2021.

“I often say that UofL is a true research engine, continuously blazing new trails and seeking answers to important questions,” said Interim President Lori Stewart Gonzalez, speaking at the event.

Wang, who joined the university in August 2016, won Emerging Researcher of the Year for her work to advance solid ion conductors and electrochemical energy storage. She has also been a National Science Foundation EPSCoR Research Fellow in 2020 and 2021 “I am honored and grateful to receive the Emerging Researcher of the Year award,” she said. This recognition means a lot to me, like a milestone, and it motivates me to continue to work hard in future.”

Spurgeon, who joined the Conn Center in 2014, won the Grand Challenger Award in Engineering our Future Economy for work to create clean fuels using just water, carbon dioxide and sunlight, paving the way for more low-carbon power. “It’s definitely an honor to win this award,” said Spurgeon. “This is exactly what the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research was created to do, to advance technologies to improve the sustainability of society and to develop the Kentucky economy in particular,” he said.

“I am grateful to receive the award, but it is my colleagues at the Conn Center that have made successful research possible, and it is my team of students and postdocs that actually do the hard work in lab day in and day out to earn every scientific advance we make,” said Spurgeon. We appreciate the work UofL has done to foster research, and I think as a result, great innovations will continue to be developed right here in Louisville.”

Kevin Gardner, UofL’s Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation, said his office launched this inaugural awards event to recognize faculty and staff for their contributions to UofL’s research and scholarship.

In the past fiscal year, their work helped bring in record $201.5 million to support groundbreaking work that saves and improves lives and shapes our society and culture.