Patrick Chapman named Willett Faculty Scholar
By Charlie Johnson, ECE ILLINOIS
April 5, 2010
- Patrick Chapman was recently named one of six Willett Scholars by the College of Engineering. He will serve a four-year term with the distinction.
- Willett Faculty Scholars program recognizes intellectual leadership and outstanding research.
- Chapman has been involved in researching solar power electronics and was part of Solar Decathlon team that took second place overall in the International Solar Decathlon.
ECE Associate Professor Patrick Lyle Chapman was recently named one of six Donald Biggar Willett Faculty Scholars by the College of Engineering. He will serve a four-year term with the distinction.
“I must say, I was surprised. I didn’t even know I was being considered. When I got the e-mail I was shocked and very surprised,” said Chapman.
The purpose of the Willett Faculty Scholars is to increase the distinction of the College of Engineering and its departments by recognizing intellectual leadership and outstanding research. Since coming to Illinois, Chapman has been involved in researching solar power electronics and was part of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon team that took second place overall in the International Solar Decathlon in Washington, DC, last fall.
“I think my research comes at a time when solar power being highlighted by the national media, which is good for the University,” said Chapman.
After he returns from a leave of absence in August, Chapman plans to refocus his research on power electronics and applications of renewable energy research, primarily in the solar power field. He hopes to achieve higher levels of integration of power components with signal processing components and better integration of power electronics with solar modules.
“According to a Solar America Initiative roadmap, by 2015, solar power will be competitive with electricity you can buy right off the electricity grid. I think in this decade we will see solar power reach a tipping point where we will see it more and more in people’s everyday lives,” said Chapman. “It’s exciting to work in solar power these days.”
The Willett Faculty Scholars honor the late Mr. Willett, who attended Illinois from 1916 to 1922. He left the university six credits short of earning a degree from the Department of Civil Engineering. Willett left to join his family’s Chicago-based coal business, Suburban Coal and Supply Company, as a partner. In the 1930s, Willett moved to Los Angeles, where he owned a bookkeeping and tax preparation business.
Willett died in 1981 at the age of 83. According to Elizabeth Marie Henning Willett, his widow, her late husband admired the College of Engineering for its thriftiness and honesty, and therefore, left a bequest in his memory upon her death in 1993. As stated in her will, the gift was “for research, in memory of my beloved husband.”
Tarek Abdelzaher (Computer Science), Ioannis Chasiotis (Aerospace Engineering), Matthias Grosse-Perdekamp (Physics), William King (Mechanical Science and Engineering), and Moonsub Shim (Materials Science and Engineering) were also selected as Willett Scholars by the College of Engineering.
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