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Two Elected to National Academy of Engineering

Tobin J. Marks and Samuel I. Stupp receive highest professional distinction

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February 9, 2012 | by Pat Vaughan Tremmel
Tobin Marks

Tobin Marks

Samuel Stupp

Samuel Stupp

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern professors Tobin J. Marks, a world leader in materials chemistry, chemical catalysis and nanotechnology, and Samuel I. Stupp, renowned for his research in self-assembly and regenerative medicine, have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Election to the academy is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. The NAE, which elected 66 new members and 10 foreign associates, acts as the federal government's chief advisory agency on engineering and technology issues.

Marks is cited for innovation in electronic, photonic, and photovoltaic materials and catalytic polymerization.

Stupp is cited for advances in processes of self-assembled polymers for biomedical applications.

Tobin J. Marks

Marks, Vladimir N. Ipatieff Professor of Catalytic Chemistry and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, is a world leader in the understanding and development of new catalysts that enable the production of recyclable, environmentally friendly and sustainably produced plastics and elastomeric materials. His research has resulted in a far deeper understanding of the requirements to make and break specific chemical bonds, thus giving scientists the ability to design new catalytic processes. Marks’ work has directly led to multi-billion dollar industrial processes.

He has developed prototypes of third-generation “plastic” photovoltaic solar cells, composed of flexible, efficient, low-cost organic materials as well as new materials for sensors and light modulators enabling high-speed optical data transmission and processing. Other achievements include high-performance printable transistors and light-emitting diodes based on organic materials (OLEDs), which lead to energy savings.

Throughout his career, Marks has received numerous awards, including some of the most prestigious national and international awards in the fields of inorganic, catalytic, materials and organometallic chemistry. These include receiving the U.S. National Medal of Science, the Prince of Asturias Award, the Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Award in the Chemical Sciences, and being elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the German National Academy of Sciences, and the Indian National Academy of Sciences. He holds appointments in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and the McCormick School of Engineering.

Samuel I. Stupp

Stupp, Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry and Medicine and director of Northwestern’s Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine, conducts research to better understand the relationship between supramolecular structures on the nanoscale and the functions of materials. His research has focused on molecular self-assembly strategies to create highly functional materials of interest in widely varying fields, ranging from regenerative medicine to electronics. He holds appointments in the Feinberg School of Medicine, McCormick School of Engineering and Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

He has developed novel materials to promote regeneration in the central nervous system, which could impact therapies for spinal cord injury and Parkinson’s disease. He also has developed new materials for the regeneration of bone, cartilage and blood vessels. Other work includes the use of self-assembly to create electronically active materials, with a focus on energy technologies.

A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of both the American Physical Society and the Materials Research Society, Stupp has received many awards and honors. They include a Department of Energy Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Materials Chemistry; the American Chemical Society Award in Polymer Chemistry; the Materials Research Society Medal; and the Humboldt Award for Senior U.S. Scientists. In 2005 Scientific American named Stupp as one of 50 “Leaders Shaping the Future of Technology.”

Founded in 1964, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation. It has more than 2,000 peer-elected members and foreign associates, senior professionals in business, academia and government who are among the world’s most accomplished engineers.