December 2009 Beckman Bulletin

Image of a push pin on left, with the words Beckman Bulletin to the right

The Beckman Bulletin is a monthly digest from the director of the Beckman Institute. The Bulletin is sent to all faculty and staff. Each issue will highlight the latest happenings from around the Institute.

Communication from the Director
Issue 15: December 2009


As we near the end of the 2009 calendar year, I would like to thank you all for your hard work and dedication to the Beckman Institute. I hope you all have an enjoyable holiday season and a productive and happy New Year.

CAMPUS HOLIDAYS AND BUILDING SCHEDULE 
The University of Illinois observes December 24, 25, and 31 as official holidays and December 28, 29, and 30 are designated as reduced service days. The University expects that most units will be closed and most employees will not be working on these three days. The Beckman Institute administrative offices will be closed Thursday, December 24 through Sunday, January 3, 2010. The doors of the Beckman Institute will be locked beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 23, 2009 and will reopen at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, January 4, 2010. If you have any questions please contact Beckman Associate Director Mike Smith at mdsmith@illinois.edu.

GARY DELL ELECTED AAAS FELLOW
Congratulations to Beckman Institute faculty member Gary S. Dell for his recent election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Gary is a leader of Beckman’s Cognitive Science group and a professor of psychology. The Illinois News Bureau reports that he “was chosen for his groundbreaking work on the production of language using an array of methodologies, including behavioral studies, computational modeling, and neurosciences.”

FOUR BECKMAN FACULTY MEMBERS SELECTED FOR CAS APPOINTMENTS
Beckman faculty members Ashwini Chhatre, Rohit Bhargava, Todd Coleman, and Xiuling Li have recently been selected for Fellow appointments with the University of Illinois Center for Advanced Study (CAS) for the 2010-2011 academic year, pending approval of the Board of Trustees. Congratulations to all four for this important campus recognition of their scholarly work.

LEBURTON NAMED IEEE LECTURER
Congratulations to Jean-Pierre Leburton for being chosen as an IEEE Nanotechnology Council Distinguished Lecturer for 2010-2012. According to IEEE these lecturers are “engineering professionals who lead their fields in new technical developments that shape the global community.”

FEDERMEIER WINS CNS YOUNG INVESTIGATOR AWARD
Congratulations to Kara Federmeier for winning the 2010 Young Investigator Award of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. The award recognizes the outstanding contributions by scientists early in their careers. 

KING RECEIVES BERGLES-ROHSENOW YOUNG INVESTIGATOR AWARD
Congratulations to William P. King who has received the 2009 Bergles-Rohsenow Young Investigator Award in Heat Transfer. This award is given annually by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to the top researcher in heat transfer under the age of 36.

WINTER SYNERGY NOW AVAILABLE
The Winter 2010 issue of Synergy is now online. It includes a feature on Dan Simons, a story on how undergraduates are discovering their path, a wrap-up of the 20th Anniversary Symposium, a profile of Beckman alumnus, Paul von Allmen, a faculty profile of Pierre Moulin, a story on status of the BIC/ISL space swap, and much more. To view the latest issue visit the Synergy web page at: http://www.beckman.illinois.edu/synergy.

ALUMNI AND FRIENDS EVENT IN CALIFORNIA
The Beckman Institute will be hosting an alumni and friends Sunday brunch in Irvine,  California on January 24. I will give brief remarks about the current state of the Beckman Institute and Art Kramer will be a featured speaker. Art will provide the guests with an overview of his research on aging and the human mind. He will also discuss what his research shows about enhancing your cognitive abilities as people age. Additionally, he will give an overview of the developing initiative, “Healthy Bodies, Brains, Minds, and Communities. Contact Tim Montague (tgmontag@illinois.edu) for more information.

REMINDER: BOOKS REQUESTED FOR DISPLAY
In an effort to showcase the work of Beckman Institute authors we will be creating a display for recent books authored or co-authored by our faculty, fellows, students, and staff. The book display will be near the Beckman Institute Café where people can peruse the books over lunch or on a break. The books are not intended to be removed from the display area but to be perused at the site. If you have a copy of a book that you have authored or co-authored within the last ten years that you would like contribute to our display please drop it off with Sue Johnson in Room 5361. If it is more convenient you may also drop your book off at the reception desk in the administrative suite.

GRANT FUNDING
Congratulations to Scott White for receiving new grant funding in the period of November 11, 2009 – December 10, 2009:

  • Synthesis, Characterization and Modeling of Functionally Graded Multifunctional Hybrid Composites for Extreme Environments (PI: S. White; Sponsor: DOD)

NEW HIRES AND A RETIREMENT
Please welcome the following new hires to the Beckman Institute:

  • Yiyu Gong, Visiting Scholar (T. Huang)
  • Jeremy Brooks, 2009 Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow (SDEP)

Congratulations to Mary Jane Ham (Biomedical Imaging Center) on her retirement that will be effective December 31, 2009. Thank you Mary Jane for your many years of hard work and dedication to the Beckman Institute and the University of Illinois.


This is what I have for this last bulletin of the calendar year 2009. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me. As always, our website www.beckman.illinois.edu will continue to post in a timely manner all the important happenings in the institute involving our faculty, fellows, and graduate and undergraduate student researchers, their accomplishments, recognitions, and featured stories on our research programs.

Tamer Başar
December 21, 2009
Interim Director
director@beckman.illinois.edu