Jason Rolland, senior scientist at Liquidia Technologies and a co-founder of the company, recently received a national award for graduate research.

Rolland, who received his PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005, was recognized for his work in polymer science and engineering. He received the 2007 National Starch & Chemical Award for research earlier this month.

Liquidia is focused on materials known as microfluidics. Rolland was recognized for a thesis he wrote about applications for a material known as perfluoropolyethers, or PFPEs. He was directed by Dr. Joseph DeSimone, who teaches at UNC and North Carolina State, and is one of Liquidia’s co-founder.

"Since the 1960s PFPEs have been used for niche applications such as lubricants and greases," DeSimone said in a statement. "Jason’s thesis explores exciting opportunities to expand the use of PFPEs to areas which exploit their unique properties, and opens the door to applications yet to be discovered. He has added a new chapter to the field of fluoropolymer research and is fully deserving of this award."

Liquidia is making advances in nanotechnology use of PFPEs based on Henn’s research, according to Liquidia.

"The fundamental discoveries that Jason made during his studies at UNC have been immensely valuable as we continue to develop a robust nanotechnology product platform for particles and films,” said Robert Henn, Liquidia’s chief technology officer. “Jason is a rare scientist, one in a hundred, who makes an impact in industry immediately after making the transition from academia."

The award is sponsored by the National Starch & Chemical Company.