Yuzhang Li, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, has received two awards that combined will provide more than $670,000 in research funding.

The CAREER award from the National Science Foundation honors faculty members in the early stages of their teaching and research careers. Li will receive five years of funding worth more than $562,000 to help develop high-energy, fast-charging and efficient lithium batteries, which are considered critical to decreasing society’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Li, who leads the Li Group at UCLA, also received a doctoral new investigator grant from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund. The two-year, $110,000 grant supports researchers in the first three years of their career. The award will fund Li’s research to develop new materials to store and distribute natural gas, a cleaner-burning alternative to coal.  

Li joined the UCLA faculty in 2020, following a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University, where he also received his doctorate. In 2021, he was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for science.