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Brillson named Distinguished Scholar

Professor Leonard Brillson accepts his 2017 Distinguished Scholar AwardTrying to lure Ohio State Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Professor Len Brillson into attending a surprise ceremony for winning the 2017 Distinguished Scholar Award was no easy task. 

Behind the scenes, strings were pulled and his own family members helped make it happen, all in the midst of his daughter's wedding shower over the weekend. Tuesday at 3 p.m., university administrators and ECE faculty successfully presented him with the award.

Watch a video of the ceremony.

Ohio State Executive Vice President and Provost, Bruce McPheron, said Brillson's academic achievements were well deserved. Only six professors earn the prestigious Distinguished Scholar distinction each year.  

Ohio State Senior Vice President of Research, Caroline Whitacre, said Brillson is considered one of the foremost world authorities in electronic material surfaces and interfaces. Twenty years ago he came to Ohio State from Xerox, where he served as Director of Advanced Components. He went on to publish more than 350 articles, write four books and file two patents. He also earned fellowship status across numerous scientific disciplines. 

"I was impressed by all the cool stuff you get to work on," Whitacre said. "The cell phones, the lasers, the computers. You deal with all the stuff inside those."

"It's a lot of fun," Brillson said. "Hopefully for the students too."

Janet Weisenberger, senior associate vice president for research, said nominations for the award must help relay why a professor's research career is significant and worthy. 

"We're all reading this dossier about your contributions and we got the sense that if we were to open up our computers, or open up our cell phones, there would be a picture of Len Brillson," she joked.

Each year, the university recognizes and honors six faculty members who demonstrate scholarly activity, research or other creative works which represent exceptional achievements in their fields. Recipients of the award receive a $20,000 research grant and a $3,000 honorarium to pursue their scholarly activity.

Brillson is a professor and Center for Materials Research Scholar in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, and Department of Physics, College of Arts and Sciences.

Recipients are nominated by their departments and chosen by a committee of senior faculty, including past award recipients. Distinguished Scholars receive an honorarium and a research grant to be used over the next three years. The award is supported by the Office of Research.

For more information, contact Ryan Horns