Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

News Release

Contact: Tom Parisi, Office of Public Affairs
(815) 753-3635

January 17, 2003

NIU’s Clyde Kimball named among most
influential people in tech industry

DeKalb, Ill.—For someone who works on the smallest of scales, aiming to move molecules and atoms one at a time, Clyde Kimball’s influence sure is felt in a big way.

I-Street magazine earlier this month tapped NIU’s Kimball as one of the top 100 people who have the most significant impact on Illinois’ technology industry and economic development.

Kimball is a distinguished research professor in the Department of Physics, a frequent collaborator on research at Argonne National Laboratory and director of NIU’s new NanoScience laboratory. Nanotechnology aims to build electronic circuits and devices from single atoms and molecules.

“I’m honored to have been selected as an influential contributor to the growth of science and technology in Illinois,” Kimball said. “Clearly, the selection was based on the growing reputation of NIU in the development of new tools and scientific and engineering approaches to understanding the behavior of matter on the nano-scale.”

The university last fall secured $2.5 million in federal grants to launch Kimball’s Laboratory for NanoScience, Engineering and Technology and a separate Laboratory for Structural Analysis and Computer Modeling. U.S. Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert worked on behalf of the laboratory proposals and has been a continued supporter of NIU’s scientists, mission and students.

Northern scientists and students in physics and engineering use Kimball’s lab to explore the vast frontier of the subatomic world and develop the next generation of materials and applications for nanotechnology. Creation of nano-scale mechanisms and machines could revolutionize numerous industries, from computing to medicine to manufacturing.

Nanotechnology attempts to continue the Silicon Revolution of the 20th century by creating scientific techniques and materials for further miniaturization of electronic and magnetic devices,” Kimball said. He is a firm believer that the technology industry in Illinois has a bright future.

“The state has great potential for development in the areas of biotechnology, micro-engineering, microelectronics, nano-electronics and nano-magnetism,” Kimball said. “All of these fields are going to be important in driving the next generation of economic growth, and Illinois is well positioned to take advantage of the technology.”

A resident of DeKalb, Kimball is a veteran of the NIU Department of Physics and has accumulated a long list of honors during his career. In 1982, he was among the inaugural group of NIU professors honored with the Presidential Research Professorship, recognizing the university’s most accomplished and active researchers.

While many of Kimball’s peers are enjoying retirement, he continues to conduct his research full-time—and then some. “I love the intellectual excitement of participating in discovering the way nature works,” he said.

For its Top 100 list, I-Street selected “individuals who have the greatest impact on fostering economic development in high tech and high growth industries in Illinois.” The list included entrepreneurs, corporate executives, academics, media, public servants, tech mavens and professional services individuals.

Also named to the list this year was NIU alumnus Bart Carlson, founder and CEO of Geneva Technology Partners and co-founder of Northern Illinois Angels, an organization that provides funding to entrepreneurs. According to I-Street, “Carlson has started and funded more companies than most have worked at in their careers.”