A Scientist Stands with Ukraine

Portrait of Yuri Gogotsi

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked a deep determination among scientists around the world to support the ongoing work of their Ukrainian colleagues.

Prominent academics stepping up their support of Ukrainian scientists and students include Drexel’s Yury Gogotsi, Charles T. and Ruth M. Bach Distinguished University Professor at the College of Engineering and Director of the AJ Drexel Nanomaterials Institute. Gogotsi is internationally recognized for the development of materials for electrochemical capacitors, the discovery of new carbon structures, and a family of two-dimensional carbides and nitrides – MXenes – that possess properties useful for everything from energy storage to removing mercury from seawater. Gogotsi is recognized as one of the world’s leading companies and the most cited materials scientists.

An interest in science and engineering seems to be reflected in Gogotsi’s DNA, as he is the son of the renowned Ukrainian scientist Professor George Gogotsi, who introduced principles of applied mechanics of materials such as the brittleness measure and the fracture barrier, and the brother of Oleksiy Gogotsi, who directs the material Research Centre, Ltd., in Ukraine. His daughter Natalie Gogotsi, BS/MS Chemical and Biological Engineering ’14 and PhD in Materials Science and Engineering (UPenn), is a researcher at Lockheed Martin’s elite facility Skunk Works, while his son Pavel Gogotsi, BS Engineering Technology and Electrical Engineering ’15, is a Peer Lead of the Assembly, Technology and Launch Operations team for Millenium Space Systems and was featured in Drexel Magazine40 under 40 in 2022.

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In March, Yury Gogotsi joined other world-class scientists and Nobel laureates of Ukrainian, Russian, and Belarusian descent in urging governments, foundations, and agencies that fund scientific discoveries to establish an expedited visa process and residency status for Ukrainian scientists and provide emergency funding for temporary ones Research posts at universities and research institutes in the West. Your letter was published in world of chemistry by the Royal Society of Chemistry and widely distributed on the internet. Numerous other articles, letters and statements from professional societies have been written in support of the Ukrainian research community.

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Since May 2022, he has been collaborating with undergraduate and graduate students in Ukraine by teaching and lecturing at several online events while maintaining research collaborations with faculty and researchers from Sumy State University and Materials Research Center, Ltd. developed. They jointly won a European Research Network grant to study the biomedical applications of MXenes through high-dimensional immunomapping. In one project, his collaboration with Ukrainian colleagues led to an important article on the use of MXenes in thermal ablation of tumor cells, published in the American Chemical Society journal Applied materials and interfaces. He will serve as an associate professor at Sumy State University until August 2023, giving lectures, collaborating with doctoral students and faculty, and donating all his remuneration to a Ukrainian charity.

He invited 12 Ukrainian researchers to give virtual presentations during the second international MXene conference hosted by Drexel in August. He has two Ukrainian graduate students working in his lab, he recruited a researcher from Dnipro as a visiting scientist, and applied for funding from the Ministry of Energy to support her work.

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Last month, he spoke remotely at the opening session of the Nano 2022 conference, held in Lviv. As chair of the scientific committee of the YUCOMAT conference organized by the Materials Research Society of Serbia in Montenegro in early September, he secured a grant from the European Office or the US Air Force, which enabled 34 Ukrainian scientists to attend. When Sumy State University hosted and relocated the 2022 IEEE-NAP 12th International Conference Nanomaterials: Applications & Properties to Kraków, Poland in September, Gogotsi delivered a plenary lecture, participated as a panelist in the scientific publishing roundtable, and attended numerous meetings Ukrainian colleagues.

“No matter how much I do, how much of my time and money I donate to help Ukraine, I understand that it’s still not enough,” says Gogotsi. “But every contribution, even the smallest, is important. Support from scientists from around the world is needed to help Ukrainian science weather the challenges of war and to fully integrate Ukrainian scientists into the international research community.”

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