Professor C. Grant Willson
Professor C. Grant Willson Draper Prize
Rashid Engineering Regents Chair, University of Texas
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  • Draper
Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering
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Acceptance Remarks

C. Grant Willson is a professor of chemical engineering and chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the Rashid Engineering Regent’s Chair. His research, supported by grants from both government and industry, focuses on the design and synthesis of functional organic materials with emphasis on organic materials for microelectronics. He has served as the advisor for more than 90 PhD students, and his research group includes graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in both the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Departments. He joined the faculty of UT Austin in 1993 after working at IBM for 17 years; when he left he was an IBM Fellow and manager of Polymer Science and Technology at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose.

He is also a cofounder of Molecular Imprints, Inc., an Austin firm that employed more than 100 people and was recently acquired by Canon, and coinventor on more than 40 US patents. He has coauthored more than 400 publications.

In addition to being an IBM Fellow, Dr. Willson is a fellow of ACS, SPIE, and MRS and a member of the NAE, APS, SPE, AAAS, ASEE, ECS, and Sigma Xi. He serves on the editorial boards of several journals and is an associate editor of ACS Nano.

Dr. Willson’s research has been recognized with honors too numerous to mention. He was presented with the National Medal for Technology and Innovation (2008) by the president of the United States and in 2013 shared the Japan Prize (with Jean Fréchet). From the ACS he has received the Arthur Doolittle Award, Chemistry of Materials Award, and Carothers Award, among others. In addition, he was selected for the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientists Award from the Federal Republic of Germany and the National Academy of Sciences Award for Chemistry in Service to Society.

He received both his BS and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and his MS from San Diego State University, all in organic chemistry.

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  • Draper
  • 2020
  • For the invention, development, and commercialization of chemically amplified materials for micro- and nanofabrication, enabling the extreme miniaturization of microelectronic devices.