Professorship: Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering
Donald Biggar Willett (1897-1981) attended the U of I from 1916 to 1922, but left the university just a few hours short of earning a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. During the 1930s, Willett moved to Los Angeles and opened a tax accounting business. He died in 1981 at age 83. His wife, Elizabeth Marie Henning Willett, was an avid investor who accumulated a fortune. She knew that her husband admired the U of I College of Engineering for its thriftiness and honesty, so in her will she left a gift to the college for research in memory of her husband. Mrs. Willett died in 1993 at age 91. The purpose of the Willett Professorships is to increase the distinction of the College and its departments by recognizing and stimulating intellectual leadership and outstanding research.
Faculty: William H. Sanders
William H. Sanders is a world expert in methods for assessing computer system and network dependability, security, performance, and performability. As the director of the Information Trust Institute (m) at the University of Illinois, he has worked tirelessly to make Illinois the nation's most important center for research in information trust.
Professor Sanders' most influential work in model-based evaluation was the co-development of two tools for assessing the performability of systems represented as stochastic activity networks: UltraSAN and Mobius. These tools have been distributed widely to academic and industrial institutions, where they have contributed to groundbreaking work in fields ranging from cancer research to systems engineering. Professor Sanders is also a co-developer of the Loki distributed system fault injector and the AQuA, ITUA, and DPASA middlewares for providing dependability and security to distributed and networked applications.
Professor Sanders has published more than 160 technical papers, which together represent an outstanding, record of fundamental contributions to information technology. His contributions have been recognized in many ways, including multiple keynote speaker invitations, best paper awards, advising awards, and a teaching award. He is also a Fellow of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
Professor Sanders received his undergraduate and graduate education from the University of Michigan, including a master's degree in computer, information, and control engineering in 1985, and a PhD in computer science and engineering in 1988. After a stint at the University of Arizona, he joined the University of Illinois faculty in 1994. Since becoming ITI director in 2004, Professor Sanders has brought ITI into a position of national leadership in the area of trustworthy and secure information systems. Professor Sanders is also a dedicated educator and mentor who has guided more than 40 students to MS. or PhD degrees. He has long been active in professional service, having served on the editorial boards of several journals and on the program committees of more than 70 conferences and workshops.