Wendy Queen obtained her PhD in chemistry from Clemson University in 2009 (USA) under the supervision of Prof. Shiou-Jyh Hwu. Her dissertation was focused on the synthesis and characterization of extended solids that contain low-dimensional magnetic nanostructures. Afterwards, she was awarded a fellowship from the National Research Council to study neutron scattering at the NIST Center for Neutron Research in Gaithersburg Maryland (USA) with Dr. Craig Brown. Here, she focused on elucidating small molecule interactions on the internal surface of porous adsorbent materials, such as metal-organic frameworks, zeolites, and activated carbons. Later, in 2012, she was appointed a project scientist position at the Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley California (USA) where she helped launch a new user program focused on the synthesis and characterization of porous adsorbents. In 2015, she was appointed Tenure-Track Assistant Professor and Director of the Laboratory for Functional Inorganic Materials in the Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering at EPFL. In 2022, she was promoted to Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at EPFL.
Her research team, which is located on the EPFL Valais Wallis campus in Sion, Switzerland, is focused on the synthesis and characterization of novel porous adsorbents, namely metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), that are of interest in a number of host-guest applications. The team offers a highly innovative approach to the design, synthesis, and characterization of hybrid organic/inorganic materials for applications in the fields of gas and liquid separations, small molecule storage, and catalysis. Of particular interest among her projects are the study of interactions between “host” hybrid materials and “guest” molecules using advanced characterization techniques and the development of post-synthetic modification strategies to enhance MOF performance.
The ultimate goal of her research is to contribute knowledge towards solving globally relevant problems, like reducing energy consumption, developing sustainable processes, cutting CO2 emissions, and water purification. Her desire is to help train a new generation of researchers that have the knowledge and scientific skill set necessary to become future front runners in energy and environmentally-related research. In 2018, she won Merck’s 350 Innovation Challenge, and in 2020, she was named one of C&E News “Talented 12”, an award which highlights “a dozen young rising stars who are using chemical know-how to change the world.