Three Professors Named ISTC Researchers to Know 2020



By Casey Moffitt

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The Illinois Science and Technology Coalition has named three faculty members from Illinois Institute of Technology as Researchers to Know 2020 for their noteworthy contributions to their fields.

Jean-Luc Ayitou, assistant professor of chemistry; Tomasz Bielecki, professor of applied mathematics; and Leon Shaw, Rowe Family Chair Professor in Sustainable Energy and professor of materials science and engineering, were all named to the ISTC’s 2020 list of 19 university researchers from across Illinois.

Ayitou was recognized for his pioneering research in organic materials and photochemical sciences. His lab investigates the light-induced transfer of energy in organic materials, with a long-term goal of creating phototransistors that can efficiently convert solar radiation into useful energy. Ayitou and his team actively find ways to mitigate environmental impact in creating valuable chemicals.

Bielecki has used his expertise in quantitative mathematics to build a career developing novel, deep mathematics that model risks in financial markets. His most recent model combines strong theory with stochastic processes to understand random variables with applications in finance, insurance, seismology, neuroscience, and genetics. The model is explained in his book Structured Dependence Between Stochastic Processes, which was published by the Cambridge University Press in July.

Shaw’s research pushes boundaries in materials synthesis and processing for energy-storage and structural applications, while focusing on eco-friendly manufacturing methods to produce lithium-ion batteries. His work was recognized for advancements in high-power, long-cycle materials for lithium-ion batteries, and his pioneering research to develop new technologies and materials in manufacturing sodium-ion batteries. Shaw is working to file patent applications based on this research, with assistance from Illinois Tech.

Illinois Science and Technology Coalition has recognized university researchers for the past three years with its Researchers to Know list. To create the list, ISTC reaches out to university partners across the state to nominate faculty that have demonstrated excellence in their work. An emphasis also is placed on recently achieved milestones, such as publishing influential papers, receiving national recognition, or commercializing a new innovation.

Photo [left to right]: Jean-Luc Ayitou, Tomasz Bielecki, and Leon Shaw