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Purdue Engineering faculty members elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science | Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE — Three Purdue University faculty members leading the way in engineering excellence have been elected to the distinction of Fellow by the world’s largest general scientific society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The Purdue College of Engineering faculty members Gary Cheng, Karl Smith and John Sutherland were honored for their significant efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. Their work has revolutionized materials used in scientific devices, shaped the way tomorrow’s engineers are trained, and advanced our understanding and practice of environmentally responsible manufacturing.

The new Fellows from Purdue are:

Gary Cheng

Cheng, professor of industrial engineering with a courtesy appointment in materials science engineering. He is honored for leading contributions to additive materials synthesis and processing for scalable manufacturing using laser-matter interaction, with applications to biomedical, electrical and optical devices. He has made significant contributions to scalable manufacturing of high resolution nanostructures, functional nanomaterials and nanostructure-integrated metal components, leading to materials with superior properties. His recent works focus on scalable production of nanomaterials and structures, such as doped-nanodiamonds, single-metal atoms, black-body-like nanomaterials and nano-high-entropy-alloys, among others, with many applications in bioimaging, plasmonics, biosensing, energy storage/conversion, catalysts, and solar-driven desalination.

Karl Smith





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Smith, cooperative learning professor of engineering education. He is being honored for distinguished contributions to engineering and science education, as well as leadership in advocating for and mentoring research on and use of active and collaborative learning strategies. For instance, a course on mentored teaching in engineering enables graduate students enrolled in any engineering program to deepen their understanding of college teaching and learning through a semester-long teaching experience with mentoring, feedback and reflection.

John Sutherland

Sutherland, professor and Fehsenfeld Family Head of Environmental and Ecological Engineering. He is being honored for his award-winning teaching and research and for his ground-breaking work to establish the field of sustainable manufacturing. He has conducted studies to reduce the environmental footprint of manufacturing processes, has been a leader in rethinking product life cycles and how end-of-life products are managed, investigated green manufacturing planning, made substantial contributions to engineering education, and was one of the first to develop rigorous indicators to quantify the social impacts of a business.

The 2021 Fellows were announced on Wednesday (Jan. 26) in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science. These new Fellows will receive an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin to commemorate their election.

The tradition of selecting Fellows began in 1874. Members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering group of their respective sections, by three Fellows or by the association’s chief executive officer. Each steering group then reviews nominations within its respective section and forwards a final list to the association’s council. The nomination involves all disciplines of science and engineering, which makes it broader than any technical society.

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