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scholar elected fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences
James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor
(217) 244-1073; firstname.lastname@example.org
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — James Economy, a professor of materials
science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
has been elected a fellow of the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Election to the American Academy is an honor that acknowledges the best
of all scholarly fields and professions. Among the academy’s 186
other new fellows are journalist Walter Cronkite, novelist Michael Cunningham,
recording industry pioneer Ray Dolby, Nobel Prize-winning physicist
Donald Glaser, philanthropist William H. Gates Sr., and artist Cindy
Sherman. They will be inducted in early October at ceremonies at the
academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.
"Jim is a highly respected leader in materials research and engineering
on our campus," said Nancy Cantor, the chancellor of the Urbana
campus and also a member of the academy. "It is absolutely appropriate
that the academy recognizes his contributions in both scholarship and
Economy has played a major role during the past 40 years in the design
and development of a number of polymer systems, including liquid crystalline
materials for structural uses, novel thermosetting resins that can be
recycled, and activated fibers for filtering environmental contaminants.
He led the effort to create the National Science Foundation Center on
Advanced Materials for Water Purification at the Urbana campus.
Among his awards are the P.J. Flory Award in Polymer Science (2000)
from the POLYCHAR World Forum; and the Herman F. Mark Polymer Chemistry
Award (1998) and the Phillips Medal for Applied Polymer Science (1985),
both from the American Chemical Society. He is a member of the National
Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Association for
the Advancement of Science and of the Polymer Materials Science and
Engineering division of the ACS.
Economy earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1950 from
Wayne State University in Detroit, and his doctorate in chemistry in
1954 from the University of Maryland at College Park. He joined the
Illinois faculty in 1989 as head of the materials science and engineering
department, a position he held until 2000.
The American Academy was founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock
and other scholar-patriots "to cultivate every art and science
which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity and happiness
of a free, independent and virtuous people."
The academy has more than 3,950 fellows and 575 foreign honorary members,
which includes more than 150 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners.
The academy focuses its research on international security, social policy,
education and the humanities. A full list of new fellows is available
on the Internet at www.amacad.org/news/new2003.htm.