Toussaint earns Provost’s Distinguished Promotion Award


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Kimani Toussaint
Kimani Toussaint
When MechSE’s Kimani Toussaint is promoted in August to full professor, he will also carry the distinction as a recipient of the Provost’s Campus Distinguished Promotion Award for 2019.

This prestigious honor was given to just 11 faculty across campus this year. During its annual promotion review process, the Campus Committee on Promotion and Tenure identifies scholars whose contributions have been extraordinary in terms of quality of work and overall achievement. Each honoree receives a discretionary fund to support scholarly activities. 

Toussaint earned his MS and PhD in electrical engineering in 1999 and 2004 from Boston University, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, before joining MechSE in August 2007.

He leads the Photonics Research of Bio/Nano Environments (PROBE) Lab at Illinois, where his research group noninvasively investigates a variety of inorganic and organic systems, at mesoscopic scales, through the development of advanced optical instrumentation. Toussaint is also PI and Director of the $4M NSF nanoMFG Node, the country’s first computational node aimed at developing nanomanufacturing simulation tools. 

In recent years, he has earned several other distinctions for teaching and research. In 2019, he won the MechSE Alumni Two-Year Effective Teaching Award, and in 2017 was honored with the Engineering Council Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence. He has been among a select few scientists to attend the National Academies’ symposium twice, in 2015 and 2017. Toussaint also received the College of Engineering Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research in 2015. From 2014 to 2015, he was the Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Associate Professor at MIT. In 2018, he became a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA) and the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).

The other 10 recipients of the Provost’s Campus Distinguished Promotion Award can be found here

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This story was published June 10, 2019.