Illinois I-mark

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Dr. Ying Diao, Assistant Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Illinois, has been chosen to take part in the National Academy of Engineering’s 23rd annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium.

The academy invites engineers ages 30 to 45 who are performing exceptional engineering research and technical work in a variety of disciplines to attend the event. Participants—from industry, academia, and government—were nominated by fellow engineers or organizations.

Diao, a Dow Chemical Company Faculty Scholar, pursues fundamental understanding and control of molecular assembly processes to advance innovations in printed electronics for energy and healthcare. She joined the department in 2015 and earned her PhD from MIT and her BS from Tsinghua University.

Ying Diao - professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering
Dr. Ying Diao

“I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to join a very diverse group of outstanding young engineers in the U. S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium! Attending this symposium at the early stage of my career will help define my research trajectory, broaden my perspective beyond one discipline, and inspire me to work on cross-cutting engineering challenges to make a real impact,” she said.

The 2017 Frontiers of Engineering symposium will be hosted by United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford, Conn., on September 25-27, and will cover cutting-edge developments in four areas: Mega-Tall Buildings and Other Future Places of Work, Unraveling the Complexity of the Brain, Energy Strategies to Power Our Future, and Machines That Teach Themselves.

“The Frontiers of Engineering program brings together a particularly talented group of young engineers whose early-careers span different technical areas, perspectives and experiences,” said NAE President C. D. Mote, Jr. in a written statement. “But when they come together in this program, their mutual excitement is palpable, and a process of creating long-term benefits to society is often initiated.”

Sponsors for the 2017 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering are The Grainger Foundation, Microsoft Research, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Science Foundation, and Cummins.

The mission of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology. The NAE is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an independent, nonprofit organization chartered by Congress to provide objective analysis and advice to the nation on matters of science, technology, and health.

Fluid mechanics pioneer and Illinois alumnus David V. Boger has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering for “discoveries and fundamental research on elastic and particulate fluids and their application to waste minimization in the minerals industry.”

Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer.

Boger FluidDr. Boger is a world-renowned expert in complex fluids and he has made seminal contributions to the field of rheology, the study of how materials flow. His work has changed our understanding of complex fluids through the development of “Boger Fluids” which behave as both liquids and solids. He has worked for decades with mining companies around the world to develop processes that mitigate environmental risks associated with mining waste.

He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1965, studying under Dr. James Westwater. After graduation, he joined the chemical engineering faculty at Monash University in Australia. In 2015 he returned to Illinois to deliver the Distinguished Alumni Lecture.

Read more about David Boger in this alumni profile.

Others elected to the NAE this year with ties to the Illinois Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering include Jennifer Lewis and Michael Strano. Lewis, currently the Hansjorg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, was an affiliate faculty member from 2003 to 2012. Michael Strano, Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was a member of the ChBE faculty from 2003 to 2007.

Individuals in the newly elected class will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., later this year.

Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/ implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”


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