Panče Naumov

Dr. Panche Naumov holds a Ph.D. in chemistry and materials science from Tokyo Institute of Technology. He was a research fellow at the National Institute for Materials Science and faculty at Osaka University and Kyoto University, before he was appointed as a faculty at New York University Abu Dhabi, where he currently is a tenured professor, with a cross-appointment at New York University’s Molecular Design Institute, and a Director of the Center for Smart Engineering Materials.

Dr. Naumov is the founding Chair of the UAE Chapter and a fellow of the American Chemical Society, founding President of the Emirates Crystallographic Society, councilor of the European Crystallographic Association, consultant of the International Union of Crystallography, and a member of the Emirates Science Council. He has been awarded a fellowship from the Japanese Ministry of Education and Science, Human Frontier Science award, Asian and Oceanian Photochemistry Association Prize, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Radcliffe fellowship at Harvard University, and the Hans and Marlies Zimmer Award. He currently is a member and a fellow of the American Chemical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry, European Crystallographic Association, American Crystallographic Association, and Mohamed Bin Rashid Academy of Scientists.

Most research interests for a scientist

The Naumov’s Smart Materials Lab at NYUAD is the leading research team in chemistry in the UAE with an output that accounts for 40‒60% of the high-impact chemistry publications in the country. Dr. Naumov has pioneered a new research field ‘crystal adaptronics’ that explores the dynamic and adaptive properties of soft crystalline matter. His research on exotic organic materials that rapidly transduce energy into motion, as well as self-healing and shape-memory crystalline materials that are the key to the future all-organic optics, electronics and soft robotics has received a wide international acclaim. The work of Professor Naumov has shown that, unlike the traditional perception of these materials as brittle or fragile, many organic crystalline materials are endowed with an exceptional mechanical compliance and adaptability, while they can also be robust and stiff similar to metals, ductile like wires, and malleable and foldable like plastic. The new opportunities for design and engineering that this hitherto overlooked class of materials opens for some of the most important domains of human society such as optoelectronics, medicine, telecommunications, and space exploration are practically infinite. He has advanced a new analytical method, X-ray photocrystallography, for direct observation of chemical and physical processes with atomic-scale resolution that provides structures of transient molecular species as they are generated and decay. He has also greatly advanced the field of bioluminescence and provided understanding of fundamental processes related to the process of generation of ‘cold light’ from chemical energy.


  • Smart materials