Skip to main content
Photo of Klavs Jensen
May 19, 2017

Chemical engineering alum elected to National Academy of Sciences

Written By: Silke Schmidt

Klavs Jensen, a 1980 graduate of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, was elected into the National Academy of Sciences in May 2017. An NAS membership is among the most significant honors given to academic researchers. At UW-Madison, Jensen’s PhD advisor was Vilas Research Professor (now-emeritus) W. Harmon Ray.

Jensen, the Warren K. Lewis Professor of chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was elected for his distinguished research achievements. In his career, he has developed a wide range of novel chemicals and materials for electronic (semiconductor) processes, pharmaceutical drug discovery and other biological, medical, optical and energy applications, complementing experimental studies with computer simulations of chemical reactions.

Some of Jensen’s recent notable contributions were in the field of nanotechnology, where he developed novel composite materials and methods for live-cell protein labeling. He has also devised a portable pharmaceutical manufacturing system that can rapidly produce drugs during an unexpected disease outbreak, or to prevent a drug shortage caused by a manufacturing plant shutdown—much like an emergency generator that supplies electricity during a power outage.

Jensen is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the Royal Society of Chemistry, and has received numerous prizes and awards for his research.