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News from ISE at Illinois — Fall 2018
New aircraft-scheduling models may ease air travel frustrations

By focusing on the early phases of flight schedule planning and delays at various scales, Lavanya Marla and colleagues have developed models to help create schedules that are less susceptible to delays and easier to fix once disrupted.

Faculty News
Professor Deborah Thurston. 

Professor Deborah Thurston is on the leadership team of a coalition of universities, laboratories, and companies that aims to reduce the pollution and energy waste of  manufacturing.

Jump Simulation Center. 

ISE Professor Kesh Kesavadas and colleagues are taking surgical robotics to the next level at Illinois' newly opened $10 million revolutionary Jump Simulation Center.

Bob Norris. 

Autonomous vehicle veteran Professor Bob Norris teams up with AutonomousStuff to bring self-driving vehicles to an ISE lab.

Paul Couston. 

After a turbulent year of roadblocks and opportunities, student startup Optivolt are now moving their business in the direction of improving battery life in drones.

Mary, Frances, and Theresa Ponicki. 

“...we really wanted to combine a more creative side of engineering with the degree, and that's why we all ended up here...”

Francesca Santos. 

Francesca Santos has made a home for herself at ISE. Santos is heavily involved in engineering extracurriculars and has held several leadership positions.

Alumni News
Irene Au. 

Au is a designer who has worked with some of the most prominent internet companies to make their services more accessible and useful for their users.

Kennda Lynch 

After working as a systems engineer for Lockheed Martin Space Operations, earning a NASA fellowship and studying Mars as a postdoctoral fellow, Kennda Lynch's astrobiology career has reached a new frontier; Lynch is featured in the Netflix series Explained, by Vox, in which she talks about extraterrestrial life.

Conrad Tucker. 

Penn State Professor Conrad Tucker (PhDSEE 2011) was one of 30 out of 20,000 Gates Millennium Scholars invited to attend the Gates Millennium Scholars Program Celebration on April 24, 2018 in Seattle.


ISE is an accessible, agile department in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. We thrive on collaboration with alumni, corporations, and researchers. Please contact us; let us know your ideas.



John Southwood
Senior Director of Advancement
(217) 300-5480

Coordinator for Corporate, Alumni, & Student Relations
(217) 244-0095

William Gillespie
News Editor / Communications and Marketing
(217) 722-1033

Donald Biggar Willett Professor in Engineering, ISE Department Head
(217) 244-3848