Apr 17, 2019

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to share the news that two UCI faculty members are being honored for remarkable contributions in their respective fields.

Clare Yu, professor of physics & astronomy, has been named a fellow by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies. Fellows are nominated and elected to the academy by current members.

Yu’s research focuses on intracellular transport, how molecules are sorted and moved around cells to perform useful functions; the role of chemical signaling in developmental biology, particularly the complexities around symmetry and wound healing in living organisms; and the implementation of statistical techniques to understand how, why and where cancerous tumors grow and the best way to treat patients with immunotherapies. She has conducted extensive research into how active defects affect the low-temperature properties of glasses and qubits, the basic elements of any working quantum computer.

Yu joined the faculty at UCI in 1989 and has a broad range of research interests, including biophysics, condensed matter physics and quantum computing. She earned bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in physics at Princeton University, is a recipient of the Sloan Research Fellowship and is a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Yu will be officially inducted in an October ceremony in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

H. Kumar Wickramasinghe, UCI Distinguished Professor and Nicolaos G. & Sue Curtis Alexopoulos Presidential Chair in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, has been named a fellow by the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge.

With more than 100 patents to his name, Wickramasinghe is a pioneer in nanotechnology research and innovation. Since joining UCI in 2006, Wickramasinghe has continued to pursue enhancements to nanoscopic devices and techniques for studying atoms, molecules and chemical bonds, with the goal of one day being able to take movies of the surfaces of these objects. Another major push has been to build instruments to improve the understanding of biological processes and enable rapid, point-of-care diagnosis of bacterial and viral infections.

A recipient of the 2014-15 Distinguished Faculty Award for Research from the UCI Academic Senate, Wickramasinghe also is a member of the National Academy of Engineering; an IBM Fellow and a member of the IBM Academy of Technology; and a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Institute of Physics, the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, the Royal Microscopical Society and the National Academy of Inventors.

Wickramasinghe will be formally inducted into the Royal Society in a ceremony in London on July 12.

Please join me in congratulating Professor Yu and Professor Wickramasinghe on these exceptional achievements that illustrate the growing recognition of the academic excellence of UCI faculty, which includes 41 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 35 members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, nine members of the National Academy of Inventors, four members of the National Academy of Education and four fellows of the Royal Society.


Enrique J. Lavernia, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Distinguished Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering