January 2018 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.

Issue 92: January 2018

Honors and Awards

Faculty Named IEEE Fellows
Two Beckman Institute faculty members have been elevated as Fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Naira Hovakimyan, a professor of mechanical science and engineering and a member of the Cognition, Lifespan Engagement, Aging, and Resilience Group, was honored for contributions to control with applications to aerospace and robotic systems. Olgica Milenkovic, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and a member of the Computational Multiscale Nanosystems Group, was honored for contributions to genomic data compression.

Simpson Named AAAS Fellow
Douglas Simpson, a professor of statistics and a member of Beckman’s Bioacoustics Research Laboratory, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Lu Named to Highly Cited Researchers List
Yi Lu, a professor of chemistry and member of the 3D Micro- and Nanosystems Group at Beckman, has been named to the 2017 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list (previously known as the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list).

Cangellaris Named Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Andreas Cangellaris, the dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been selected by Chancellor Robert Jones to be the campus’s next vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Cangellaris is part of the Computational Multiscale Nanosystems Group.

Jones Named Distinguished Professor
Douglas L. Jones, member of the Cellular and Molecular Foundations of Intelligent Behavior Group, was named the William L. Everitt Distinguished Professor in electrical and computer engineering.

ACII Best Paper Award
The paper "Decoding the Perception of Sincerity in Written Dialogues," written by Roxana Girju, an associate professor of linguistics and member of the Illinois Language and Literacy Initiative at Beckman, and Codruta Garlea, a graduate research assistant, received awards for Best Student Paper and "Best of ACII" at the 7th Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction Conference (ACII), held in October in San Antonio.

Administrative/Organizational News

Please Credit Beckman Facilities in Your Research
When you publish the results of your work conducted in the centralized research facilities of the Beckman Institute, please remember to acknowledge us in your publications! We suggest the following wording and associated account acronym for each of our facilities:

For the Biomedical Imaging Center (MRI, microPET/SPECT/CT, IVIS, ultrasound):
“This work was conducted in part at the Biomedical Imaging Center of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC-BI-BIC).”

For the Microscopy Suite (ESEM, AFM, TEM, CT, and more):
“This work was conducted in part at the Microscopy Suite of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC-BI-MS).”

For the Visualization Laboratory (3D scanning, photography, image processing, and more):
“This work was conducted in part at the Visualization Laboratory of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC-BI-VL).”

Recently Awarded Grants
Congratulations to the following PIs on the recently awarded grants:

  • Development and Optimization of 31P-SPICE for High-Resolution Mapping of Phosphate Metabolites in Rat Skeletal Muscle (PI: Liang; Case Western Reserve University)
  • Rapid High-Resolution 1H-MRSI for Metabolic Imaging of the Brain (PI: Liang; NIH)
  • PIRE: Integrated Computational Materials Engineering for Active Materials and Interfaces in Chemical Fuel Production (PI: Aluru; NSF)
  • Mouse Cognition and Hippocampal Neurogenesis Core Facility (PI: Rhodes; CNLM-Abbott)
  • Controlled Trials in 'At Risk' Humans to Establish the Cognitive Benefits of Nutrient Mixture and Underlying Mechanisms of Action (PI: Cohen; CNLM-Abbott)

Beckman Institute Faculty Committees

The Beckman Institute Executive Committee (BIXC) is comprised of the three main research theme co-chairs as well as a few other faculty members. BIXC members, along with the associate directors and the director of communication, meet with the director every two weeks to discuss matters of interest.

Thanks to the current members of the BIXC:

  • Narayana Aluru
  • Rohit Bhargava
  • Stephen Boppart
  • Kara Federmeier
  • Zhi-Pei Liang
  • Susan Schantz
  • Elizabeth Stine-Morrow
  • Brad Sutton
  • Jonathan Sweedler
  • Scott White


Faculty members are invited by the director to join the Program Advisory Committee. The primary duties of this committee are to review the applications for the Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellows Program and the Beckman Institute Graduate and Undergraduate Fellows Programs. Thanks to the following committee members:

  • Monica Fabiani
  • Sepideh Friberg
  • Roxana Girju
  • Fatima Husain
  • Dan Llano
  • Joaquin Rodriguez-Lopez
  • Yang Zhang
  • Jefferson Chan
  • Wawrzyniec Dobrucki
  • Liang Gao
  • Michael Oelze
  • Dipanjan Pan

The Coordinating Committee consists of the executive officers of units relevant to the Beckman Institute. The director issues personal invitations to those heads or unit executive officers to join the Coordinating Committee. Current members are

  • Vikram Adve, Computer Science
  • Milan Bagchi, MCB
  • David Cahill, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Brian Cunningham, Micro and Nanotechnology Lab
  • Virginia Dominguez, Anthropology
  • Jodi Flaws, Comparative Biosciences
  • Philippe Geubelle, Aerospace Engineering
  • Claudio Grosman, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
  • Martin Gruebele, Chemistry
  • Wendy Heller, Psychology
  • Mike Insana, Bioengineering
  • Anthony Jacobi, Mechanical Science and Engineering
  • Rodney Johnson, Animal Sciences
  • Janet Jokela, College of Medicine
  • Sheldon Katz, Mathematics
  • Paul Kenis, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Karen Kirk, Speech and Hearing Science
  • Alan Mette, Art and Design
  • Dan Morrow, Educational Psychology
  • Rakesh Nagi, industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering
  • Klara Nahrstedt, Coordinated Science Lab
  • Sharon “Shelly” Nickols-Richardson, Food Science and Human Nutrition
  • Uretz Oliphant, Surgery
  • William Sanders, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Doug Simpson, Statistics
  • Jonathan Sweedler, School of Chemical Sciences
  • Emad Tajkhorshid, Biochemistry
  • Robert Tierney, East Asian Languages and Culture
  • Rizwan Uddin, Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering
  • Dale van Harlingen, Physics
  • Amy Woods, Kinesiology
  • Hye Suk Jame Yoon, Linguistics

New Employees
Welcome to the following new Beckman Institute employees!

  • Jianbo Jiao, 0% Visiting Scholar (T. Huang)
  • Lisa Croteau, Inventory Clerk (Facilities)

Atrium Furniture Prototypes
Sit on the furniture, please! Amanda Henderson and Deana McDonagh, Beckman’s designer-in-residence, are prototyping furniture in the Atrium, Jan. 21-Feb. 2. Your interaction with the furniture is part of the research for Amanda’s master’s thesis. Help with her research and enjoy new cushioned comfort!

Vacuums Available
Vacuums are available for check out from the Security Office (Room 1237).

Campus Master Plan
The master plan provides a framework for fitting the expansion program, a long-term guide for campus growth, into the fabric of the Urbana-Champaign Campus in a way that builds upon existing patterns of land use, circulation, infrastructure, and open space, while making wise use of limited land resources. These visionary development guidelines allow administrators to make informed, coordinated, and cost-effective decisions.

More details can be found:
www.uocpres.uillinois.edu/resources/uiucplan

Campus Safety
Please take a moment to visit police.illinois.edu/safe. There are steps you can take right now to prepare should you find yourself in an emergency situation.

Please also register for Illini-Alert, which provides information regarding campus emergencies: police.illinois.edu/services/stay-informed/illini-alerts/

Upcoming Events

Research workshop with Carle Foundation Hospital physicians and residents
1:00 – 5:00pm Friday, January 26, Room 5602 Beckman Institute
Register: forms.illinois.edu/sec/9863565.

Director’s Seminar
Kiel Christianson, "Good-Enough Language Processing: Theory and Data"
Noon Thursday, Feb. 1
Room 1005 Beckman Institute

Graduate Student Seminar
Noon Wednesday, Feb. 7
Room 1005 Beckman Institute

Tech Talks on Tuesday
Noon Tuesday, Feb. 13
Room 5602 Beckman Institute
“3D Volumetric Data to Finite Element Analysis: Applications in Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Using the Beckman Vis Lab,” featuring Mariana Kersh, assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering, and Travis Ross, manager of Beckman’s Visualization Lab

Art Theater Science on Screen
“Ex Machina” presented by Rhanor Gillette, professor of molecular and integrative physiology and member of the Cellular and Molecular Foundations of Intelligent Behavior Group
Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, at the Art Theater, Champaign

Save the Date
Arnold Beckman Birthday Celebration
Tuesday, April 10

SmithGroup JJR Lecture
Friday, April 20
Sandra Tsing Loh, author and creator of The Loh Down on Science podcast: www.scpr.org/programs/loh-down-on-science/


Note from the Director

Happy 2018 and welcome to the spring semester and Beckman Institute. I hope that 2018 brings great things to everyone at Beckman, and great research opportunities at the Institute.

There have been a number of changes to the Institute over the last year or more and we are implementing some additional changes to our space, including the introduction of the Cancer Center on the 3rd floor. Your feedback is valuable, and you can contact me directly with comments, questions, or concerns at jsmoore@illinois.edu, or post to the Beckman Discussion Board: go.illinois.edu/beckmanboard.

We’re also look forward to preparing for Ted Brown’s 90th birthday party in October 2018 and our 30th anniversary in 2019. If you have interest in helping us plan these events, please contact Maeve Reilly, mjreilly@illinois.edu.

Hope your semester gets off to a great start and I look forward to hearing from you.

Jeff Moore, Director
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology