The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has awarded Pacific Lutheran University’s Dr. Dean Waldow the Lynwood W. Swanson Scientific Research Award, which supports and recognizes undergraduate research in the natural sciences at four-year institutions across the Pacific Northwest.

The award, which is part of the Murdock College Science Research Program, is given to exemplary senior faculty members who run established, productive, and nationally recognized research programs, and comes with $15,000 in funding.

“On behalf of Pacific Lutheran University we’d like to formally congratulate our colleague, Dean Waldow, on this accomplishment,” stated Provost Joanna Gregson. “He has a record and reputation of teaching excellence and scholarly achievement — and he is known not only for welcoming students into the research enterprise, but also for nurturing and cultivating the next generation of scientists.”

A polymer chemist by trade, Waldow is currently studying and developing solid polymer electrolytes for use in lithium ion batteries. This work could lead to substantial improvements in performance and safety in these batteries, which are commonly found in smartphones. Additionally, his contributions in grant writing have helped lead to necessary scientific equipment for PLU’s Chemistry Department and more than $2 million in grant funding over the course of his career.