Paul Nealey elected to the National Academy of Engineering

Congratulations to Professor Paul Nealey, the Brady W. Dougan Professor in Molecular Engineering, for his election into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) "for the development of directed self-assembly of block copolymers as an industrially significant process for nanolithography."

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."

Individuals in the newly elected class will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE's annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 30, 2018. A list of the newly elected members and foreign members follows, with their primary affiliations at the time of election and a brief statement of their principal engineering accomplishments.

Nealey is a pioneer of directed self-assembly, which is becoming very important in microelectronics processing to create patterns for integrated circuits. He is one of the world’s leading experts on patterning organic materials, literally creating physical patterns of structure and composition in the materials at the nanometer length scale, where the patterns affect the function of the materials.

Many of Nealey’s collaborative projects with Juan de Pablo have focused on block copolymer films, which spontaneously self-assemble to form structures with dimensions that range from three to 50 nanometers. Nealey’s experimental and de Pablo’s computational teamwork extends even to jointly advised doctoral students. Their approach has become so powerfully productive that other institutions seek to replicate their formula for success with their own research teams.

Nealey’s interest in tissue engineering of corneal prosthetic devices, pursued in collaboration with a veterinary ophthalmologist, demonstrates the versatility of his expertise in fabricating nanostructured surfaces.

Nealey holds 14 patents and is the author of more than 180 publications. His honors include fellowship in the American Physical Society, the 2010 Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and a 2009 Inventor Recognition Award from Semiconductor Research Corporation.