NSF names Matthew Tirrell the Engineering Distinguished Lecturer for Fall, 2005


Santa Barbara, Calif. September 28, 2005 -- Matthew Tirrell, the Richard A. Auhill Professor of Engineering and Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been named by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as the Engineering Distinguished Lecturer for Fall, 2005. He will present the lecture, "Modular Materials by Self-Assembly," on November 7 at the NSF in Arlington, Virginia.

The Engineering Directorate at the NSF established the Distinguished Lecture Series in 1997. Previous lecturers include Nobel Laureates Heinrich Rohrer, Jean-Marie Lehn, Dan Tsui and John Pople.

Tirrell's lecture will explain how and why self-assembly is a promising tool for producing materials and chemical products with unprecedented applications in biomedial, electronic, catalytic and separation process technologies.

Using self-assembly to synthesize materials involves creating or building into parts of a materials system -- such as molecules, particles and objects -- enough information content so that the end product actually forms spontaneously. However, spontaneous creation does not suggest instantaneous formation, Tirrell will warn, as manufacturing processes and large-scale implementation will pose obstacles.

Tirrell has been a Sloan and a Guggenheim Fellow, a recipient of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award and has received the Allan P. Colburn, Charles Stine and the Professional Progress Awards from AIChE. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a fellow of the American Physical Society. In 2003, he concluded more than two years of service as co-chair of the steering committee for the National Research Council report, "Beyond the Molecular Frontier: Challenges for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering," published by the National Academy Press. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Cottage Health System, in Santa Barbara, California.

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