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New faculty member brings exclusive 3M award to UB


Published August 18, 2023

“This award is a testament to Luis’ promise as an emerging scientist in his field. ”
Javid Rzayev, professor and chair
Department of Chemistry
Luis De Jesús Báez.

Luis R. De Jesús Báez

Luis R. De Jesús Báez, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, is UB’s first recipient of a 3M Non-Tenure Faculty Award (NTFA).

The NTFA was created more than 25 years ago to encourage the pursuit of new ideas among tenure-track university professors. The awards, which include $45,000 in funding over three years, are given by 3M as part of the company’s support of innovative research in higher education. 

“3M is very pleased to support Professor De Jesús Báez and his research at the University at Buffalo,” said Darren Castro, 3M vice president for research and development, and NTFA committee chair. “3M’s NTFA program is designed to recognize outstanding faculty who are leading compelling research projects. The award is intended to support their research and, ultimately, help them achieve tenure.

“We were thrilled to host Dr. De Jesús Báez and the other NTFA recipients at 3M’s corporate headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota, at the 2023 3M NTFA Symposium, where the awardees presented their work and had the opportunity to interact with 3Mers and other NTFA awardees,” Castro said.

The awards are intended to provide support in the form of unrestricted research funds to assist non-tenured faculty who have demonstrated a prolific record in research and academic leadership. To be considered, faculty must be nominated by 3M scientists, fostering an on-going relationship with the company.

“This award is a testament to Luis’ promise as an emerging scientist in his field,” says Javid Rzayev, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry. “We are both lucky and proud to have Luis as the newest member of our faculty in the Department of Chemistry, and we will continue to support Luis on his scientific journey.”

De Jesús Báez joined the UB chemistry faculty in 2022. His research interests include inorganic and solid-state materials synthesis of novel layered materials. He uses a combination of X-ray characterization techniques to study the fundamental changes that occur in solids when they are subjected to stress, strain and high entropy.

Prior to coming to UB, he served as a Provost Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2022, he was named a Scialog: Negative Emission Science Fellow and an NSF-AGEP Lighthouse Beacon Fellow.

“It was a surreal moment when I received the notification of the (3M) award,” says De Jesús Báez. “This will truly support our efforts to understand new ways to tailor properties in solids.”