Have You Met Rutgers-Newark?

From One of the Inspired to One Who Inspires

Dr. Frieder Jäkle traces his early interest in chemistry to one of his high school courses while he was growing up in Germany. Jäkle’s high school chemistry teacher had a “unique talent to stimulate our interest in the sciences through laboratory experiments and field trips which gave us a sense of the widespread applications and importance of chemistry in everday life,” he recalls.”I feel it is important to give other young students the same opportunities.” Not surprisingly, he tries to similarly inspire not only his Rutgers students but high school students as well, through community outreach projects.

Jäkle never imagined that his early interest in the field would lead him to a series of honors in his field: Boron Americas Award (2012); SEAM (Search for Electroactive Materials) Award (2009); and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Prize (2009); the National Science Foundation Career Award.

In 2006 Jäkle received one of science’s most prestigious honors- the 2006 Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, awarded annually to a small number of outstanding researchers throughout the United States and Canada who have demonstrated excellence early in their careers. A total of 116 awardees are selected annually from several disciplines that include physics, chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics and neuroscience.

Jäkle and his team of researchers at Rutgers-Newark focus primarily on the use of multifunctional and polymeric Lewis acids for applications ranging from catalysis to materials chemistry. For instance, one of his group’s research projects aims at the development of new functional materials which offer brighter and sharper alternatives to current plasma and liquid crystal display technology used in television, computer and cell phone screen monitors.

A Rutgers-Newark faculty member since 2000, Jäkle completed his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto in 2000. In 1997, he earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry summa cum laude from Technical University in Munich, Germany and his bachelor degree in Chemistry in 1994, also from Technical University.