Dr. Gu is a Materials Research Engineer in Polymeric Materials Group, Engineering Laboratory at NIST in Gaithersburg, MD. She is the project leader of "Measurement Science for Service Life Prediction of Polymers used in Photovoltaic Systems." She is responsible for planning and implementing research on developing measurement science for evaluating the performance and lifetime of polymers in PV systems, based on tools and standards developed for accelerated aging, characterization of degradation mechanisms, and prediction of long-term performance and service lives.
Dr. Gu received her Ph. D. from Department of Polymer Science and Engineering from Nanjing University, China in 1997. Her main research interests include service life prediction, multiscale physical and chemical characterization, polymer degradation mechanism, adhesion and interfacial phenomena. She led the groundbreaking work that first demonstrated a successful linkage between the accelerated laboratory exposure data and the field performance for a clear polymeric system. Her outstanding work on measuring nanoscale chemical properties using AFM with chemically-functionalized tips and humidity chamber has opened an area for imaging nanoscale chemical heterogeneity in polymeric materials.
Dr. Gu joined the Polymeric Materials Group of Engineering Laboratory as a guest researcher in 1998. From 1998 to 2001, she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow from Howard University, which was financially supported by U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research. She was a Research Associate from University of Missouri, Kansas City, working at NIST from 2001 to 2010. Prior to joining BFRL, Dr. Gu was a Associate professor at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics from 1994 to 1997 and a visiting scholar in University of Georgia from 1997 to 1998. Her previous research activities included spectroscopic studies of the curing mechanism of polymeric coatings, and modification and characterization of coating/metal interphases.
Dr. Gu was the recipient of the "Science and Technology Development" first prize awards in 1993 and 1999 given by the Jiangsu Science and Technology Society, China for her pioneering research on molecular design and microstructure studies of the interface of polymeric composites using spectroscopic techniques. In 2003, she received the "Best Poster Award" from the American Adhesion Society for her contributions to imaging nanoscale chemical heterogeneity in polymers. She received the "John A. Gordon Best Paper Award" from Federation of Societies for Coating Technology in 2006 and won 1st prize of "Roon Award" from American Coatings Association in 2010. She received the "Best Technical Poster Award" in both 2011 and 2012 NREL PV Module Reliability Workshops. She was also the recipient of "NIST BFRL Distinguished Associate Award" for her distinguished contributions to the development of nanoscale characterization techniques for prediction the service life and durability of polymeric material systems. She is the author or co-author of over 80 technical publications.