Interim leader chosen for Beckman

Interim leader chosen for Beckman

URBANA — A longtime faculty member and University of Illinois graduate has been named interim director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, after Director Art Kramer officially retires.

Jeffrey Moore, the Murchison-Mallory Professor of Chemistry and professor of materials science and engineering, will take over on April 16, the UI announced Friday.

"The Beckman Institute is one of the most prominent research institutes in the world, and I know it will continue to flourish under Jeff's leadership," Peter Schiffer, vice chancellor for research, said in a release.

Identifying a permanent Beckman leader is a top priority for the campus, Schiffer said. The goal is to have that person in place by January 2017.

Kramer, an original Beckman faculty member, has been director since 2010. He is taking on a new full-time position as senior vice provost for research and graduate education at Northeastern University in Boston in May.

"Jeff is an accomplished scholar and researcher and I'm confident in his ability to lead the Beckman and continue the great tradition of innovative research at the University of Illinois," Kramer said.

The institute, home to more than 600 researchers and staff and more than $18 million in external research funding this year, pursues interdisciplinary research in the physical sciences, computation, engineering, biology, behavior, cognition, and neuroscience.

Moore said it will be a "privilege" to work with the faculty and staff at Beckman.

"For anyone who thrives on interdisciplinary research, our Beckman Institute is an absolute gem," Moore said in the release.

A Beckman faculty member since 1994, Moore has served as co-chair of Beckman's Molecular and Electronic Nanostructures theme, and is a member of the Autonomous Materials Systems Group. He was interim head of the Department of Chemistry from 2012-2013, and in 2014, he was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. He is also lead investigator on a Department of Energy Joint Center for Energy Storage Research project.

Moore received his bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1984 and his Ph.D. in materials science in 1989 from the UI. He was an assistant professor at the University of Michigan before joining the Illinois faculty in 1993.

He has published over 300 articles covering topics from technology in the classroom to self-healing polymers. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry, and has received numerous awards for his teaching and research.

Beckman celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014.