Vietnamese-American scientist awarded Wilhelm Exner Medal 2023

Vietnamese-American scientist Nguyen Thuc Quyen has recently been awarded the Wilhelm Exner Medal 2023 for her valuable contributions directly impacting the future economy through the development of organic solar cells.
Prof. Nguyen Thuc Quyen receives the award. (Photo:
Prof. Nguyen Thuc Quyen receives the award. (Photo:

She is the first Vietnamese-origin person to be nominated and receive this prestigious award from the Austria Trade Associations.

The Wilhelm Exner Award 2023 honours researchers who have directly influenced businesses and industries through their scientific achievements and contributions. The award ceremony took place in the capital city of Vienna, Austria. Over the past more than 100 years, 241 scientists and inventors, including 23 Nobel laureates, have been honoured with this award.

As Director of the Centre for Polymers and Organic Solids (CPOS), Prof. Quyen has been involved in research and teaching at the University of California’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry since 2004. She conducts research on organic electronic devices such as optoelectronics, LED lights and field-effect transistor-based biosensor, using optical, electrical, and structural techniques to study the materials and devices in this field.

The focus of her research is on the development of organic solar cells which differ from other types that are made from plastics, semi-transparent, and can be easily produced as thin films using industrial printing methods.

According to the Wilhelm Exner Medal Foundation, solar cells are more eco-friendly, cost-effective, and can be applied in various cases.

Prof. Quyen is among 1% of material science researchers cited worldwide, as reported by Reuters news agency and Clarivate Analytics. In 2023, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in the US.

Throughout her scientific career, she also received numerous esteemed awards, including the Avenue of Fame for Advanced Materials in 2019, the Royal Society of Chemistry Researcher Award in 2016, the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award in 2015, and was included in the list of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds in 2015-2019. She has also been a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 2019.