Richard B. Kaner, distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry and materials science and engineering has been awarded the 2015 Materials Research Society Medal for “the discovery of efficient methods to synthesize water dispersible conducting polymer nanofibers and their applications in sensors, actuators, molecular memory devices, catalysis, and the novel process of flash welding.”


The Medal recognizes a specific outstanding recent discovery or advancement that is expected to have a major impact on the progress of a materials-related field. The award is a $5,000 cash prize, an engraved and mounted Medal, and a citation certificate. The award will be presented at the 2015 Materials Research Society Fall Meeting at the Sheraton Boston Hotel and Towers in a ceremony on Wednesday, December 2.


Kaner earned his PhD in inorganic chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984. After a postdoctoral research position at the University of California, Berkeley, he joined UCLA as an assistant professor in 1987. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1991, became a full professor in 1993, and a distinguished professor in 2012. He is a member of the 


Kaner has received awards from the Dreyfus, Fulbright, Guggenheim, and Sloan Foundations, as well as the Exxon Fellowship in Solid State Chemistry. He earned the Buck-Whitney Research Award, the Tolman Medal and the Award in the Chemistry of Materials from the American Chemical Society for his work on refractory materials, including new synthetic routes to ceramics, intercalation compounds, superhard materials, graphene, and conducting polymers. According to Thomson-Reuters latest survey, Kaner is among the world’s most highly cited authors.