Abu Dhabi: A professor from New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) was the recipient of the prestigious Humboldt Research Award, which recognises the work of academics from all around the world for excelling in their fields of research. The award is given by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation based in Germany.

Professor Pance Naumov, Associate Professor of Chemistry, NYUAD, specialises in material science, which is helping to create more efficient and smart materials. The award will enable Prof Naumov to work at institutions in Germany for at least six months in continuing development and research.

On the value of receiving the award, Professor Naumov told Gulf News, “It’s a lifetime achievement award. Internationally, it’s a very prestigious acknowledgement.

“The Humboldt Award is like a big family, they keep a strong connection with their alumni and winners. Once you get the award, you become part of that family and they follow your professional career development, with opportunities to collaborate with them in the future,” he added.

The achievement, Prof Naumov said, was “important because [NYUAD] in the UAE is new. We started from 2008, and my research lab started in 2012. So in three years, our work has already been recognised and acknowledged internationally. This recognition is not just for my efforts but also for [NYUAD] which managed, in a very short time, to place itself as a leading institution in the country.”

Research in new and better produced material enables its use for a number of products in different fields such technology, medicine, industry, etc, Professor Naumov said. “[These materials] can be used, for example, in medicine for prosthetics or to make artificial parts of the human body like eyes or skin. Any area you can think of that uses materials, will benefit.”

Prof Naumov said there are entire institutions devoted to this field in the US, Japan and Europe. China and India are also opening specialised centres for material science, he said.