Lisa Fredin, a professor of chemistry, was awarded a 2024 Sloan Research Fellowship. The prize supports faculty researchers across the country who have shown potential in revolutionizing their field. (Courtesy of Christa Neu)

Chemistry professor receives research fellowship


Lisa Fredin, a professor of chemistry at Lehigh, received a 2024 Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The fellowship recognizes early-career faculty.

According to the Sloan Foundation, the fellowship includes a two-year, $75,000 grant to support faculty researchers across the country who have shown potential in revolutionizing their field.  

Through her research as a quantum chemist, Fredin said she aims to gain a better understanding of the fundamental properties of emerging material by exploring surfaces, nanostructures and disordered systems. 

“Fundamentally, I have always been interested in why things work and how things work,” Fredin said.  

Fredin said she and her team are currently focused on understanding the fundamental principles driving chemistry at atomic and molecular levels

Alongside her team, she said she has been able to develop advanced computational methodologies and models, as well as develop energy storage and generation. 

Fredin said she cares deeply about the success of her students and educating future generations. 

“My greatest impact is on my students and their careers, and their likelihoods as scientists,” Fredin said. 

Charlie Hanson, ‘27, said he was unaware of Fredin’s award, but believes she is deserving. 

“Seeing her dedication to her students and research is inspiring,” Hanson said.

Fredin said she is driven to help her students succeed and pursue their interests. 

She said her work with students has led to the development of highly efficient catalysts capable of driving complex chemical reactions with unprecedented selectivity and specificity. 

These advances, Fredin said, are one of the many reasons she has been recognized for her contributions to Lehigh and to her students. 

As Fredin continues her research, she said she hopes to open new opportunities for developing advanced materials with tailored properties for applications from electronics to biomedical devices. 

The importance of Fredin’s research goes beyond the laboratory. By pushing the boundaries of understanding materials, Fredin said she hopes to contribute to creating a more advanced, technologically-wise future.

Fredin said receiving the Sloan Research Fellowship is an essential milestone in her career as it recognizes her findings as important in the field of chemistry.

“It’s a recognition that our slightly unorthodox approach of combining material chemistry and computation has enabled my research group to do something unique and different that others have not been able to do before,” Fredin said.  

She plans to continue her research program with hopes of guiding the next generation of researchers. 

“One of our biggest impacts has been tackling problems that people thought were beyond current computing power,” Fredin said. “The problems we solve for people are at the edge of what supercomputers can do.” 

This innovation has built excitement for some on campus. 

Zach Malmberg, ‘27,  said Fredin’s work sparked his interest despite not being knowledgeable about quantum mechanics. 

“I am looking forward to see what Professor Fredin will accomplish in her future years at Lehigh,” Malmberg said. 

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