Professor Catherine J. Murphy and Chancellor Robert Jones have been elected fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Election to the American Academy is an honor that acknowledges the best of all scholarly fields and professions. Among the academy's more than 200 other new fellows are former first lady Michelle Obama, Professor Susan Goldman, co-director of University of Illinois at Chicago's Learning Sciences Research Institute and professor of psychology. They will be inducted October during ceremonies at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Professor Ying Diao in a lab

Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Dr. Ying Diao has been named a winner of the College of Engineering Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research. The award is given annually to a handful of engineering faculty in recognition of their research. She will be honored at the college’s faculty awards ceremony on April 29.

MRL staff member assists middle school student using the scanning electron microscope (Photo by E. Innes, I-STEM)

On February 25th, Franklin STEAM Academy eighth grade students took a break from their science textbooks to experience some real-world, high-tech science first hand during a visit to MRL (the Materials Research Lab), home of I-MRSEC (the Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Center). The field trip was one of the highlights of I-MRSEC’s “Musical Magnetism,” a multi-disciplinary curriculum that used rap and music to expose students to materials science and magnetism.

Middle school students recording a song they wrote.

It’s not your mother’s science class…or music class, for that matter! The goal of I-MRSEC’s “Musical Magnetism” curriculum was to expose Franklin STEAM Academy eighth grade students to materials science and magnetism, but also to another of the center’s main emphases: scientific communication. What’s unique about the lesson plans is that they embraced a medium today’s kids can probably get into: hip hop or rap. So, after a number of Illinois researchers, students, and staff, who also served as role models, had exposed the students to multidisciplinary lessons in several related areas, the kids teamed up to create then present raps about specific areas of magnetism.

MechSE Assistant Professor Arend van der Zande recently won the prestigious Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation for his research on two-dimensional material heterostructures.

Three MRL faculty have been named to the 2018 list of Highly Cited Researchers by Clarivate Analytics: Assistant Professor Arend van der Zande, Assistant Professor Pinshane Huang, and Professor of Chemistry and Associate Director of MRL Catherine Jones Murphy.

Rashid Bashir, Dean of the University of Illinois College of Engineering and Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering, has been named a National Academy of Inventors Fellow (Full list of 2018 Class). The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.

Four professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been elected 2018 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Panelists share their experiences using twitter for science communication during workshop. Photo by Elizabeth Innes

Are you passionate about communicating science, but a bit behind on the latest technology, like Twitter? Do you have an inkling what Twitter is and does, and are interested in finding out about how Twitter might be helpful to you as a scientist? Do you have a Twitter account, but haven’t quite gotten the hang of how to use it?

A young Cena y Ciencias visitor works on putting together their paperclip "polymer" chain. Photo by Elizabeth Innes.

A group of around 80+ mostly Hispanic K–5 students and their families showed up for the November 5th Cena y Ciencias (Spanish for “Supper and Science”) at Dr. Preston Williams Elementary School in Urbana.