Braun becomes new head of Materials Research Lab

6/1/2016 9:14:16 AM Rick Kubetz, College of Engineering

Paul V. Braun, the Racheff Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been selected to serve as the next director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory (MRL). The appointment is effective June 1, 2016, pending approval by the Board of Trustees.

An Illinois alumnus—and faculty member since 1999—Braun is recognized as a world leader on the synthesis and properties of 3D architectures with a focus on materials with unique optical, electrochemical, thermal, and mechanical properties. A prolific scholar, innovator, and entrepreneur, he has co-authored a book and more than 200 peer-reviewed publications. He has been awarded multiple patents, has co-founded two companies, and has received numerous awards for his scientific contributions.

“Professor Braun’s deep understanding of the MRL’s culture, and his appreciation of the lab’s significance to the University's excellence in the physical, chemical, and material sciences, will serve him well,” stated Andreas Cangellaris, dean of the College of Engineering. “As director, he will work with MRL's users and stakeholders to advance groundbreaking scientific breakthroughs, diversification of its capabilities and research areas, and a heightened emphasis on materials innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Braun is an affiliate of the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, the Department of Chemistry, the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory. He received his bachelor’s degree with distinction from Cornell University in 1993, and his PhD in materials science and engineering from Illinois in 1998. Following a postdoctoral appointment at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, he joined the faculty in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Braun is the recipient of the Young Alumnus Award, the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award (2010), the Stanley H. Pierce Faculty Award (2010), Beckman Young Investigator Award (2001), a 3M Non-tenured Faculty Award, the 2002 Robert Lansing Hardy Award from TMS, the Xerox Award for Faculty Research (2004, 2009), plus multiple teaching awards. In 2006, he was named a University Scholar by the University of Illinois, and in 2011 was named the Ivan Racheff Professor of Materials Science and Engineering.

Contact: Paul V. Braun, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, 217/244-7293,