Illinois alumnus named a prestigious MacArthur Fellow

Mark Hersam ('00 PhD ENG, '96 ENG) is part of the 2014 class of fellows, commonly referred to as "genius grants."

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today named its 2014 class of MacArthur Fellows, recognizing 21 exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and the potential for significant contributions in the future.

Fellows will each receive a no-strings-attached stipend of $625,000, paid out over five years. The Fellowship comes with no stipulations or reporting requirements, and allows recipients maximum freedom to follow their own creative visions.

“Those who think creativity is dying should examine the life’s work of these extraordinary innovators who work in diverse fields and in different ways to improve our lives and better our world,” said Cecilia Conrad, Vice President, MacArthur Fellows Program. “Together, they expand our view of what is possible, and they inspire us to apply our own talents and imagination.”

Mark Hersam ('00 PhD ENG, '96 ENG) is creating new nanomaterials with potential applications in areas such transparent conductors and radio frequency transistors. He is a leader in a competitive field, and takes an interdisciplinary approach to carbon nanomaterials by applying a biochemical research technique to a materials science problem. He is a professor at Northwestern University.

Members of this year’s class join 897 other MacArthur Fellows whom the Program has recognized since it began in 1981. Fellows are selected through a rigorous process that has involved thousands of expert and anonymous nominators, evaluators, and selectors over the years. The Foundation does not accept unsolicited or outside nominations. 

About the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. More information is at



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