Paul Braun and David Cahill awarded Grainger Distinguished Chairs in Engineering
Professors David Cahill and Paul Braun have been awarded a Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering. This honor is given in recognition of distinguished scholarly achievements and leadership in promoting collaborative research.
“The Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Materials Research Laboratory have benefitted immensely from their research and administrative leadership,” said Department Head Nancy Sottos. “We are incredibly fortunate to have them as colleagues and friends.”
Paul Braun is the Director of the Materials Research Laboratory and was named the Ivan Racheff Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in 2011. He also has a co-appointment as a Professor in Chemistry and is affiliated with the Department of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. He received his B.S. degree with distinction from Cornell University, and his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Illinois. Following a postdoctoral appointment at Bell Labs, he joined the faculty at Illinois in 1999. Since joining the faculty at Illinois, Paul has established himself as a world leader in the synthesis of advanced materials and structures for photonics, energy storage, and smart materials, and collaborated with others in many other areas. Prof. Braun has co-authored a book, over 300 peer-reviewed publications, been awarded multiple patents, and has co-founded three companies. He is a fellow of the Materials Research Society (2018) the recipient of the Illinois MatSE Young Alumnus Award (2011), the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2010), and numerous young investigator awards, including a Beckman Foundation Young Investigator Award.
“I am deeply grateful to the Grainger Foundation and the Grainger College of Engineering for this Chair,” said Braun. “I look forward to using the funds provided by this award to afford new opportunities for students and postdocs to advance exciting and important areas in materials science and engineering.”
David Cahill was named the Donald B. Willett Professor of Engineering in 2005 and served as Department Head of MatSE from 2010 to 2018. He joined the MatSE faculty after earning his Ph.D. in condensed matter physics from Cornell University, and working as a postdoctoral research associate at the IBM Watson Research Center. During his 28-year career at the University of Illinois, David established himself as a world leading expert on thermal transport measurements and the use of thermal transport measurements to investigate important scientific questions in the science of materials. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed publications, many in high-impact journals such as Science, Nature Materials, Physical Review Letters and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He received the 2018 Innovation in Materials Characterization Award of the Materials Research Society (MRS); the 2015 Touloukian Award of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; the Peter Mark Memorial Award of the American Vacuum Society (AVS); and is a fellow of the MRS, AVS, APS (American Physical Society), and AAAS. Prof. Cahill received the 2020 Tau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Faculty Award from the Grainger College of Engineering.
“I am honored to receive this recognition from the College of Engineering and support from the Grainger Foundation,” said Cahill. “I am excited to put the funds to good use in fostering new directions for interdisciplinary materials research across our campus.”