Javier Vela

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Dr. Javier Vela, professor of chemistry, received his B.S. with Honors from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 2001. He then obtained M.S. and Ph.D. degrees working with Prof. Patrick L. Holland at the University of Rochester in 2003 and 2005, respectively. Before coming to Iowa State University, he was a postdoctoral research associate with Prof. Richard F. Jordan at the University of Chicago from 2005 to 2006, and a Director's Postdoctoral Fellow in the team of Jennifer A. Hollingsworth and Victor I. Klimov at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies from 2007 to 2009. Trained as a synthetic inorganic and materials chemist, Dr. Vela’s current research focuses on the development of new nanostructured and optical materials for energy, catalysis, and imaging applications. Dr. Vela joined Iowa State University in 2009, was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2015, and to full professor of chemistry in 2019. He has also served as Equity Advisor for the ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS).



  • Editorial Advisory Board, ACS Energy Letters, 2019-present
  • Editorial Board, ChemNanoMat, 2019-present
  • AAAS Fellow, 2018
  • Cassling Innovator Award, 2018
  • LAS Institutional Service Award, 2017
  • IUPAC Young Observer, 2017
  • Big XII Faculty Fellowship, 2017
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Advancing One Community Faculty Award, 2017
  • Midwest Stanley C. Israel Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences, 2014
  • LAS Early Achievement in Research Faculty Award, 2014
  • LAS Diversity Award, 2013
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2013
  • Top 40 Under 40 by Hispanic Engineering, 2011
  • LANL Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2007
  • ACS Inorganic Young Investigator Award, 2006

For more information, please visit:

Tel: 515 two nine four 5536
vela at iastate dot edu