Illinois researcher wins $500,000 MacArthur Award

ECE News

James Kloeppel, U of I News Bureau

Story Highlights

  • John Rogers named 2009 MacArthur Fellow by the MacArthur Foundation.
  • Fellows selected for creativity, originality, and potential.

John Rogers
John Rogers

John Rogers, the Lee J. Flory-Founder Chair in Engineering Innovation in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and an affiliate of ECE, has been named a 2009 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Rogers is among 24 fellows who will each receive $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years.

MacArthur Fellows are selected for their creativity, originality and potential. By providing resources without stipulations, the foundation offers the opportunity for fellows to accelerate their current activities or take their work in new directions.

Rogers’ research focuses on new materials for classes of electronics that overcome design limitations associated with conventional systems, all of which rely on planar, rigid and brittle semiconductor wafers. The soft, stretchable and curvilinear devices enabled by these approaches open entirely new application opportunities, ranging from cameras with designs that are inspired by the human eye, to electronics that can integrate intimately with the soft tissues of the human body for advanced monitoring or therapeutic purposes.

“This is an exemplary honor for Professor Rogers, the department of materials science and engineering, the Beckman Institute and, of course, the university,” said Richard Herman, the chancellor of the Urbana campus. “Designation as a MacArthur Fellow signifies the recipient has been singled out as a person of extraordinary talent and we are enormously proud to have him on our faculty.

Highlights of Rogers’ work during the last two years include the first electronic-eye cameras, flexible inorganic light-emitting diode displays, stretchable integrated circuits, and bendable monocrystalline silicon solar modules. His current work also focuses on conformal, biointerfaced and bioresorbable electronics and sensors.

Rogers earned bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and in physics in 1989 from the University of Texas at Austin, master’s degrees in physics and in chemistry in 1992 and a doctorate in physical chemistry in 1995, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the U. of I. faculty in January 2003.

In addition to ECE, Rogers is affiliated with the Beckman Institute, the Department of Chemistry, the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, and the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory.

Rogers is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an inaugural Fellow of the Materials Research Society, and a U. S. Department of Defense National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow.

One of the nation’s largest private philanthropic foundations, the MacArthur Foundation has awarded more than $3 billion in grants since it began operations in 1978.

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