Illinois chemistry alumni elected to the National Academy of Engineering

Timken, left, and Hyeon

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has announced the election of 114 new members, including alum Hye Kyung Timken (PhD, ’87, Oldfield), and 21 international members, including alum Taeghwan Hyeon (PhD, '96, Suslick).

In the Feb. 6 announcement, NAE President John L. Anderson said this brings the total U.S. membership to 2,310 and the number of international members to 332.

Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature" and to "the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education." Election of new NAE members is the culmination of a yearlong process. The ballot is set in December and the final vote for membership occurs during January.

Hye Kyung Timken, who is a principal scientist and Chevron Fellow at the Chevron Technical Center, in Richmond, Calif., was elected for development of environmentally friendly processes for producing hydrocarbon fuels. Timken has worked for more than 20 years on the groundbreaking technology. Membership in the Chevron Fellows is reserved for those whose contributions are best described as visionary, according to the company. For her professional accomplishments, she was the recipient of an LAS Alumni Achievement Award in 2020.

Taeghwan Hyeon, who is a distinguished professor in the School of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Seoul National University in Seoul, South Korea, was elected to the NAE for scalable synthesis of precisely controlled nanoparticles and design of inorganic nano-biomaterials. Hyeon is known for pioneering work in the chemical synthesis of uniformly sized nanocrystals and applications of functional nanomaterials. He has published more than 350 papers with more than 70,000 citations and is highly cited researcher in chemistry and materials science by Clarivate Analytics. As a PhD student at Illinois, Hyeon studied sonochemical synthesis of nanostructured catalytic and magnetic materials and won the T. S. Piper Award in 1996, which is awarded for the best thesis in the Inorganic Chemistry Division.

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