Roberts, Shekhar awarded McKnight Professorship
Professors Jeffrey Roberts (chemistry) and Shashi Shekhar (computer science and engineering) are among five recipients of the 2005 Distinguished McKnight University Professorship, which recognizes and rewards outstanding mid-career faculty. Recipients of the University-wide honor are chosen on the merit of their scholarly achievement and potential for greater attainment, the quality of their teaching and advising, and their contributions to the wider community.
Roberts is internationally renowned for research on chemistry at complex interfaces. His studies of ice and sulfuric acid and his innovative work on size-selected aerosol particles opened fields of research leading to better understanding of atmospheric chemistry. His investigations into chemical vapor deposition answered fundamental questions about the growth of materials. He is coauthor of over 70 research publications, and among his contributions to education are the conception and direction of the Research Site for Educators in Chemistry.
Shekhar is a world leader in the area of spatial databases, an interdisciplinary field at the intersection of computer science and geographic information science. A major goal of his research is to understand the computational structure of very large spatial databases needed by physical sciences and engineering disciplines. His expertise is widely sought after by policymakers in the U.S. and abroad, and his research is now playing a critical role in evacuation planning in the context of homeland security. His distinguished academic record includes two books and over 160 refereed papers.