Listen to this article

CHAMPAIGN — Eight University of Illinois professors have been named to the 2019 Highly Cited Researchers list, honoring scientists who produced the past decade’s most influential papers.

The list recognizes researchers who produced multiple papers in the top 1 percent of citations for their field, demonstrating significant research influence among their peers, according to Web of Science, the Clarivate Analytics company that compiles the list.

Among the 6,216 researchers cited are:

— Crop sciences and plant biology Professor Elizabeth “Lisa” Ainsworth, who leads the U.S. Agricultural Research Service’s Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit and examines genetic variation in crop responses to air pollution and climate change.

— Materials science and engineering Professor Axel Hoffmann, whose work has contributed to the development of spintronics, electronic devices that harness electron spin for faster and more efficient computing.

— Electrical and computer engineering Professor Thomas Huang, who studies many fields related to computer engineering and artificial intelligence, including human-computer interaction, multimedia signal processing, computer vision, big data and machine learning.

— Geography and geographic information Professor Mei-Po Kwan, a 2016 Guggenheim fellow who investigates health, transportation and urban issues using innovative geographic information system methods.

— Crop sciences and plant biology Professor Stephen Long, a highly cited researcher since 2005, who uses computational and experimental approaches to improve photosynthetic efficiency and works to address the effects of climate change on crop yield.

— Bioengineering Professor Shuming Nie, who studies nanomedicine, molecular engineering and image-guided minimally invasive robotic surgery.

— Plant biology Professor Donald Ort, whose research focuses on photosynthesis and crop responses to rising temperatures and increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

— Mechanical science and engineering Professor Arend van der Zande; who specializes in multidisciplinary nanoscience; his group uses two-dimensional materials, such as membranes, as molecular building blocks for new devices with applications in electronics, sensing, energy and more.


Julie Wurth is a reporter covering the University of Illinois at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@jawurth).