A gift from the Robert A. Welch Foundation in September 1998 created the chair, which is designed to encourage advancements in the field of chemistry in Texas. Baughman was appointed to the chair in September 2001.
In 2008, Baughman was ranked 30th among the decade’s top 100 material scientists by Thomson Reuters. He holds more than 70 U.S. patents. In 2002, he founded the NanoExplorers program that brings promising high-schoolers into UT Dallas labs and the world of nanotechnology.
This impact of our work largely reflects the fertile environment for creativity that exists at UT Dallas and so many dedicated and inspired students and colleagues of all ages who have made pivotal discoveries in collaborative research.
Dr. Ray Baughman is a pioneer in the field of nanotechnology. Elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2008, he is a prolific inventor and scientist.
His current research focuses in part on developing new technologies for harvesting and storing waste energy, new types of artificial muscles, the fabrication, characterization and application of carbon nanotube sheets and yarns, sensors, new material synthesis, and fundamental structure-properties relationships for materials.
He also co-invented printable indicators that change color due to time and temperature to reflect the shelf life remaining on military “Meals Ready to Eat.” These indicators also help ensure the potency of vaccines to save lives around the world.
Baughman established the NanoExplorers program, which promotes nanotechnology-based education for the next generation of scientists and is funded by the Robert A. Welch Chair grant.
“One of the reasons I love research is the opportunity it provides to inspire students. Our NanoExplorer high school students and our undergraduate and graduate students become knights of our NanoTech Institute, and use this opportunity to do exciting original research.”
Baughman named the program after Dr. George A. Jeffrey, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, who once gave a high school-aged Baughman the chance to study in a lab.
Baughman received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Carnegie Mellon University and a doctorate in the materials science area from Harvard University. Upon graduation he went to Allied Chemical, which later became AlliedSignal and then Honeywell. After 31 years in the industry, he became the Robert A. Welch Professor of Chemistry and director of the NanoTech Institute in 2001.