Ioannis Chasiotis invested as Caterpillar Professor


Debra Levey Larson

Ioannis Chasiotis, left, after his investiture as a Caterpillar Professor with Professor and Department Head Jonathan Freund.
Ioannis Chasiotis, left, after his investiture as a Caterpillar Professor with Professor and Department Head Jonathan Freund.

Aerospace engineering Professor Ioannis Chasiotis was named as a Caterpillar Professor in Engineering in 2020. Due to the pandemic, the ceremony was postponed until this spring.

Chasiotis received his Diploma in chemical engineering in 1996 from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, and his Master of Science in 1998 and doctorate degrees in 2002 in aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology.

He began his career as an assistant professor at the University of Virginia and joined the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Illinois in 2005, becoming a full professor in 2012. He is affiliated with the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, the Department of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering, and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. He is an associate head and the director of graduate studies in the AE department.

His research has spanned several topics in micro and nanoscale mechanics of materials, including experimental methods at the micro and the nanoscales, deformation and fracture of thin films, polymer and carbon nanofiber and fiber synthesis and failure behavior, adhesive contact mechanics of soft micro and nanostructures, time and strain rate-dependent mechanical behavior of nanostructured polymeric and metallic nanomaterials and nanoscale building blocks of soft tissues, strain transfer engineering in multilayer/multifunctional material systems, etc.

Chasiotis’ research has influenced the development of strong carbon and polymer nanofibers and fibers and their composites, atomic force microscopy methods in mechanics of materials, reliable microelectromechanical systems, durable thin film photovoltaic systems, high-capacity anodes for energy storage, durable polymer nanocomposites for low earth orbit, hybrid soft materials for haptic systems, biomaterials for soft-hard tissue interfaces, etc.

In nominating Chasiotis for this professorship, Professors Greg Elliott and Jonathan Freund wrote that Professor Chasiotis has truly excelled in academic scholarship, teaching, and service:

“Professor Chasiotis has established himself as arguably the world leading authority in the experimental assessment of extremely small structural components such as thin films, nanofibers and nanosprings. It is thus no surprise that Chasiotis’ research laboratory has been supported with more than $9.2 million by agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, NASA, the National Institutes of Health, and many others. The great diversity of these funding sources is a testament to the widespread impact of Professor Chasiotis’ work.”

Chasiotis has published more than 80 refereed papers, five book chapters and numerous conference papers. He holds two U.S. patents and has delivered several plenary and keynote presentations at international conferences, and multiple invited seminars.

He has contributed to the broader academic community as well, by chairing several technical committees for his professional Societies. After serving for seven years as an associate editor of the journal Experiment Mechanics, the flagship journal of the Society for Experimental Mechanics, he was appointed the editor-in-chief of the journal from 2016 to 2020. He is also a fellow of the American Society for Mechanical Engineers and the Society for Experimental Mechanics.

Upon a nomination by the National Science Foundation, Chasiotis is the first AE faculty member to be selected for a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. He has also received a Young Investigator award from the Office of Naval Research, and awards from several professional societies, including the Society of Engineering Science Young Investigator Medal, the ASME Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigator award, and the Society for Experimental Mechanics A.J. Durelli and Tatnall awards, etc. He was appointed a University of Illinois Scholar in 2016, becoming the second faculty in the history of the AE department to receive this universitywide honor.

The Caterpillar Foundation established the Caterpillar Professor in Engineering endowment in 1997, which will provide significant resources for Chasiotis’ research.