Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement Awarded to Ruowen Tu

Aerospace Ph.D. candidate recognized for his creativity and outstanding research achievement

The highly competitive Towner award is presented to an outstanding graduate student (Master’s or Ph.D. students) in each degree program.

Receiving the Towner Award this year is Ruowen Tu, a fourth year Ph.D. student in Professor Henry Sodano’s lab. Born in Ningbo, a city in China, Tu completed his undergraduate degree in Shanghai before coming to the US.

His research topic focuses on developing a novel additive manufacturing process for polymers and polymer nanocomposites, which provides scalability and design freedom for manufacturing high-performance materials for aerospace applications. 

He comments, “As a Ph.D. student focusing on experiments, I find our department very collaborative, and the support from our technicians is tremendous. This award gives credit to my previous years’ academic achievements, and also helps me build confidence to continue my research.”

“Ruowen has been working in my lab since he was an undergraduate in the Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Michigan and since his first weeks in the lab has displayed a talent for developing new technologies which capitalize upon his multidisciplinary background.  His pioneering work has led both to patents and publications in the most selective journals in his field,” says Sodano.

After completing his dissertation, Tu plans to apply for a university faculty position and continue pursuing interesting research topics.

The Towner prize is awarded by the Aerospace department awards committee based on a student’s active participation in research, leadership and academic performance (GPA).