Sanders, Lyding elected AAAS Fellows


Liz Ahlberg, U of I News Bureau

Department Head William H Sanders and Professor Joseph W Lyding are among six Illinois faculty members who have been elected 2014 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The others include Placid M. Ferreira, Brendan A. Harley,  Phillip A. Newmark, and Dan Roth.

The researchers are among the 401 new fellows chosen for their efforts to advance science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. The new fellows will be honored at the AAAS annual meeting in February 2015.

“These are extraordinary faculty members who are making great contributions in their fields. They are innovators and educators who are committed to addressing the grand challenges of our society. They are prime examples of the scholarship, ingenuity, and quality teaching that are Illinois hallmarks,” said Ilesanmi Adesida, the vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost of the Urbana-Champaign campus. 


William H Sanders
William H Sanders
Sanders, the Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering, was cited for the development of fundamental theory and practical techniques to ensure that societal-scale distributed computing systems are trustworthy.  He was the founding director of the Information Trust Institute at Illinois, which provides national leadership in trustworthy and secure information systems. He directs the DOE/DHS Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid center, which aims to make the U.S. power grid secure and resilient.


Sanders earned his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1988 and joined the Illinois faculty in 1994.  Sanders is also a fellow of IEEE and the Association for Computing Machinery.  He is affiliated with the Coordinated Science Laboratory at Illinois, where he served as director from 2007 until he began serving as ECE ILLINOIS' department head in 2013.



Joseph W Lyding
Joseph W Lyding
Lyding was honored for distinguished contributions in nanotechnology and discovery of the giant deuterium isotope effect. Lyding developed scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) hardware and techniques that are used in labs around the world to study materials and devices at the atomic scale, and he also discovered that deuterium could be used to extend the life of computer chips.


Lyding earned his PhD from Northwestern University in 1983 and joined the Illinois faculty in 1984. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Vacuum Society, and IEEE, and has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to STM and nanotechnology. He is affiliated with the Beckman Institute at Illinois. 




Placid M. Ferreira, Tungchao Julia Lu professor and head of mechanical science and engineering, was recognized for his work in manufacturing research, including precision engineering and machine tools, nanoscale manufacturing and flexible automation, and for excellence in leadership.  

Ferreira earned his PhD from Purdue University in 1987 and joined the faculty at Illinois the same year. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He is affiliated with the Micro and Nanotechonolgy Laboratory at Illinois.

Brendan A. Harley, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, was elected for outstanding contributions to the fields of biomaterials and tissue engineering. Harley’s research focuses on developing advanced biomaterials that replicate the dynamic, spatially varying environments found in the body. Harley and his group are creating biomaterials to regenerate musculoskeletal tissues after injury and to study the onset, growth and treatment of diseases such as cancer.

Harley earned his ScD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006 and joined the Illinois faculty in 2008. Harley is a core faculty member at the Institute for Genomic Biology and is affiliated with the departments of bioengineering and of materials science and engineering, and the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory at Illinois.

Phillip A. Newmark, a professor of cell and developmental biology, was cited for his work in the field of developmental biology, with particular emphasis on regeneration and germ cell development in flatworms. Flatworms can regenerate from just a small sample of tissue, and Newmark studies how their stem cells contribute to regeneration and tissue maintenance.

Newmark received his PhD in 1994 from the University of Colorado at Boulder and joined the Illinois faculty in 2001. He is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the recipient of a CAREER Award from NSF, a Damon Runyon Scholar Award from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, and has been named a University Scholar.

Dan Roth, a professor of computer science, was honored for distinguished contributions to the field of computer science and engineering, particularly for innovations in machine learning. His research focuses on machine learning methods for natural language understanding, or helping computers to understand language to better interact with humans.

Roth earned his PhD from Harvard University in 1995 and joined the faculty at Illinois in 1997. He is a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the Association for Computational Linguistics and the Association for Computing Machinery, and received an NSF CAREER award. He also is affiliated with the Beckman Institute at Illinois.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, was founded in 1848. Fellows are chosen for their outstanding contributions to the field, a tradition since 1874.