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Two McCormick Professors Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Two McCormick materials science and engineering professors — Monica Olvera de la Cruz and David Seidman — were elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's oldest honorary societies and independent policy research centers.

Olvera de la Cruz is the Lawyer Taylor Professor of Material Science and Engineering, chemical and biological engineering, and chemistry. Seidman is Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. They are two of the 229 leaders in the sciences, social sciences, the humanities, the arts, business and public affairs who were elected this year; five faculty members from Northwestern were elected to AAAS, including President Morton Schapiro.

"Monica and David have had tremendously successful careers as researchers and educators at McCormick, and it brings me great pleasure to see them recognized at this level," says Julio Ottino, dean of McCormick School of Engineering. "Membership in the Academy is a high honor, and it is especially gratifying to be recognized by the oldest academy in the United States."

Olvera de la Cruz has developed theoretical models to determine the thermodynamics, statistics and dynamics of macromolecules in complex environments, including multicomponent solutions of heterogeneous synthetic and biological molecules.

She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors such as the 2007 Cozzarelli Prize from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the David and Lucile Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering and the 1990-95 Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society and vice-chair of the National Research Council (NRC) NAS Solid State Science Committee and serves on the NRC NAS Board of Physics and Astronomy. She received her BA from UNAM, Mexico, in 1981 and her PhD from Cambridge University in 1985. She joined the Northwestern faculty in 1986.

Seidman's research aims to understand physical phenomena in a wide range of material systems on an atomic scale. Currently he and his research group are studying aluminum-, nickel- and iron-based alloys for possible high-temperature and structural applications, and metal silicide/silicon reactions pertinent to solid-state devices.

Seidman was selected as the Materials Research Society's 2008 Turnbull Lecturer, was twice chosen as a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, was an Alexander von Humboldt Senior Fellow at Institut für Metallphysik der Universität Göttingen, and received a Max Planck Research Prize of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft and the Alexander Von Humboldt Stiftung. He is also a fellow of the Materials Research Society, TMS, and the American Physical Society (Division of Condensed Matter Physics), and was awarded the Robert Lansing Hardy Gold Medal of the former society. He received his BA in physical metallurgy and physics from New York University and his PhD in the same from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Olvera de la Cruz and Seidman will be inducted at a ceremony on October 9, at the Academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.