Nancy Sottos


Role: Donald B. Willet Professor of Engineering

Partner: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Nancy Sottos is the Donald B. Willet Professor of Engineering in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is also a co-chair of the Molecular and Electronic Nanostructures Research Theme at the Beckman Institute.

Nancy started her career at Illinois in 1991 after earning a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Delaware.  Her research group studies the mechanics of complex, heterogeneous materials such as self-healing polymers, advanced composites, and thin film microelectronic devices, specializing in micro and nanoscale characterization of deformation and failure in these material systems. 



Nancy’s research and teaching awards include:

  • The ONR Young Investigator Award (1992)
  • Outstanding Engineering Advisor Award (1992, 1998, 1999 and 2002)
  • The R.E. Miller award for Excellence in Teaching (1999)
  • University Scholar (2002)
  • The University of Delaware Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement (2002)
  • The Hetényi Award from the Society for Experimental Mechanics (2004)
  • Scientific American's SciAm 50 Award (2008)
  • Fellow of the Society of Engineering Science Fellow (2007)
  • The M.M. Frocht and B.J. Lazan awards from the Society for Experimental Mechanics (2011)
  • Fellow, Society for Experimental Mechanics (2012)
  • Drucker Eminent Faculty Award, College of Engineering (2014)