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IMM Best Thesis Award 2022 for Guanqiao Li and Wen Chen

Date of news: 12 January 2023

Guanqiao Li and Wen Chen, researchers within the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM) of Radboud University, have both been awarded the IMM Best Thesis Award 2022. IMM yearly grants this prize to 1-3 PhD candidates in recognition of their excellent work performed by PhD students. The jury called the two theses of outstandingly high quality and clearly stand out.

Guanqiao Li
Guanqiou LiGuanqiao Li was PhD candidate in Spectroscopy of Solids and Interfaces (SSI) group Li defended his thesis entitled ‘THz Spintronics at Interfaces of Metals’ on 7 September 2021, under supervision of promotors Theo Rasing and Alexey Kimel and copromotor Rostislav  Mikhaylovskiy.

According to the Best Thesis committee Li’s thesis is a holistic example to unite one of the most hotly discussed topics in magnetism and optics: ultrafast magnetic dynamics and ultra-broad THz emitters. It demonstrated a great synergy of the topics that have led the author to a first-author publication in a top-tier journal and many other outstanding contributions. ‘Not only the complex multidisciplinary physics is well described, and the data are fascinating, but also the ground for further studies was laid out in a uniquely clear and interesting way’, the jury says.

Wen Chen
Wen Chen
Wen Chen was PhD candidate in the Systems Chemistry, headed by professor Daniela Wilson. Chen defended her thesis ‘Mechanics and Functionalities of Stimuli-responsive Hydrogels’ on 17 May 2022, under supervision of promotor Paul Kouwer and copromotor Hans Engelkamp.

According to the jury Wen Chen’s thesis was not only a well written and structured thesis, but addressed very clearly a number of important applications for hydrogels. Cen's productivity as well as the quality and originality of Wen’s work was demonstrated by a number of high-end first-author publications. ‘Many ideas contributing to this high quality work originated from Wen herself, underscoring her originality and independence’, the jury says.


The IMM Best Thesis Awards have been presented to the winners at the IMM New Year’s reception on Thursday January 12th, 2023.

We warmly congratulate Guanqiao and Wen with their prize.