Karl Hess is regarded as one of the world's foremost experts in the area of electron transport and owns the rare distinction of being chosen as a Fellow at both the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering. He played a key role in the creation of an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Illinois, and when that center became the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, served as Associate Director and then as Co-chair of the Molecular and Electronic Nanostructures research initiative from its inception.
Microsoft Research has recognized Beckman Institute computer vision researcher Fei-Fei Li as one of the most outstanding young computer science professors in North America by naming her to its New Faculty Fellowship Program.
The Beckman Institute was honored to have Richard Barbeyron, the Consul General of France in Chicago, visit on April 20, 2006. Barbeyron was on the University of Illinois campus to take part in the European Union Center Panel Discussion, "European Responses to the Challenges of Globalization."