Director’s Message From the Fall 2017 eNewsletter

MNTL Director Reaffirms Our Commitment to Inclusiveness & Diversity

We are living in a time of enormous anxiety in the United States, as numerous new policies, statements, and actions by the government are forcing all of us to consider the extent to which people are treated equitably, the extent to which science is to be believed when considering government policies, the compassion we show to those who need help, and the priorities we place upon scientific research. I am proud of the swift, definitive, and inclusive statements made by the University of Illinois leadership, which define our institution as one that places the highest value upon promoting diverse participation, utilizing our education system to inclusively offer opportunities to students who come here to prepare for their careers, and creating a welcoming environment for vigorous but respectful debate.

While these issues may appear on the surface to be unrelated to the research activities that occur at MNTL, I invite you to look carefully at the projects and people represented in every newsletter, including our Fall 2017 edition. You will read about the accomplishments of brilliant faculty who have been attracted to our campus in central Illinois from all parts of the world by the ideals and opportunities that are uniquely available here. Those faculty are advising students who come from equally diverse backgrounds in terms of their country of origin, gender, family wealth, and career interest.

The best science and engineering is only possible when we can harness the talents of the brilliant people we bring together at the MNTL. How else could the occupants of one building develop portable health diagnostic tests, high-power battery technology, new forms of microscopy, and a world-leading National Science Foundation center to further explore the arts of nanomanufacturing? It simply would not be possible if all of us looked alike, came from the same place, and thought the same way. The future impact of the entire engineering profession will be determined by our ability to welcome and nurture talented people, wherever they come from. We teach those values here at Illinois, and then propagate them everywhere in the world.

Brian T. Cunningham, MNTL Director


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