Three new Tisch University Professors named

Three new Tisch University Professors – Nicholas Abbott, Catherine Kling and Daniel Lee – were approved earlier this month by the Cornell University Board of Trustees, bringing to six the number of current faculty holding the title.

The Tisch University Professorships, one of Cornell’s highest faculty honors, were created in 2008 by Andrew H. Tisch ’71 and Ann Rubenstein Tisch to help attract and retain prominent scholars and midcareer faculty. Awarded at the discretion of the president and provost, the professorships are deployed to address critical recruitment and retention needs, give the university flexibility to pursue new initiatives, and help strengthen and fortify departments and emerging interdisciplinary fields.

“The Tisch Professorships continue to be a tremendous asset for the university that supports recruitment of the most talented faculty in the world, as well as retention and recognition of outstanding researchers and teachers already at Cornell,” said Provost Michael Kotlikoff. “Naming three new Tisch professors this year is both a testament and a commitment to the talent and skill we continue to bring to our colleges and our campuses, and to the academic excellence that is ubiquitous at Cornell.”

Abbott is a professor in the Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the College of Engineering and is a member of the graduate field faculty in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Nicholas Abbott

Catherine Kling

Daniel Lee

He came to Cornell in July from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was the John T. and Magdalen L. Sobota Professor, Hilldale Professor, and director of the Wisconsin Materials Research and Engineering Center. His research interests focus on colloid and interfacial phenomena, including biomolecular interfaces, liquid crystalline materials, self-assembly of surfactants and colloids, and the interfacial engineering of wound beds to promote healing. Abbott serves as co-editor-in-chief of Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science.

He received his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the University of Adelaide, Australia, a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a postdoctoral fellow in chemistry at Harvard University.

Kling, who also joined the faculty in July, is a professor of environmental, energy and resource economics in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and also is a faculty director at the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. She is the past director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University, where she held the President’s Chair in Environmental Economics.

She specializes in the economic valuation of ecosystem services and integrated assessment modeling for water quality. Kling chairs the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academy of Sciences, has served as president of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and was a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board for 10 years.

Kling received a bachelor’s degree in business and economics from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Maryland.

Lee is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell Tech and is serving part time as an executive vice president at Samsung Research. He came to Cornell in July after 17 years at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the UPS Foundation Chair Professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. His research focuses on understanding computational principles in biological systems and applying that knowledge to build autonomous robotic systems.

Previously, Lee was a researcher at AT&T and Lucent Bell Laboratories in the theoretical physics and biological computation departments. He also was a fellow of the Hebrew University Institute of Advanced Studies in Jerusalem and an affiliate of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. He has received a National Science Foundation CAREER award and the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award.

Lee received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in condensed matter physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Abbott, Kling and Lee join three other Tisch professors: chemist Geoff Coates, computer scientist Jon Kleinberg and computer scientist Lorenzo Alvisi, M.S. ’94, Ph.D. ’96.

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John Carberry