UW News

February 11, 2022

Samson Jenekhe, Anna Karlin elected to National Academy of Engineering

UW News

Samson Jenekhe, a University of Washington professor in both the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Chemical Engineering, and Anna Karlin, a UW professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, announced Feb. 9 by the academy. Jenekhe and Karlin are among 111 new members across the U.S. who are honored for contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”

Jenekhe, professor of chemistry and the Boeing-Martin Professor of Chemical Engineering, studies the fundamental physical and chemical properties of semiconductor materials, as well as their practical applications. Research topics have included organic and flexible electronics, the use of organic light-emitting diodes for lighting and displays, energy storage and conversion systems, semiconducting polymers and polymer-based photovoltaic systems.

Jenekhe is fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Physical Society, which in 2021 also awarded him the Polymer Physics Prize. He was elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences in 2013 and in 2014 received the Charles M.A. Stine Award for Excellence in Materials Science from the American Institute for Chemical Engineers.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Michigan Technological University, as well as two master’s degrees and a doctoral degree in chemical engineering — all from the University of Minnesota. Jenekhe worked as a research scientist for Honeywell, Inc. and later joined the faculty at the University of Rochester, before coming to the UW in 2000.

Karlin, who holds the Bill and Melinda Gates Chair in the Allen School, is a member of the school’s Theory of Computation group. Her research centers on designing and analyzing certain types of algorithms — such as probabilistic algorithms, which incorporate a degree of chance or randomness, and online algorithms, which can handle input delivered in a step-by-step manner. Karlin also works in algorithmic game theory, a field that merges algorithm design with considerations of strategic behavior. In addition, her studies have intersected other disciplines, including economics and data mining.

Karlin was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016. In 2020, she received the Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award from the Association for Computing Machinery, and in 2021 she was elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the Washington State Academy of Sciences.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and a doctoral degree in computer science at Stanford University. Karlin worked for five years at what was then the Digital Equipment Corporation’s Systems Research Center before joining the UW faculty in 1994.

James De Yoreo, chief scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has also been elected to the academy. De Yoreo is a UW affiliate professor of chemistry and of materials science and engineering.