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Welcome to Illinois Institute of Technology!

As our relatively mild winter season has turned into spring, construction crews continue to make significant progress on the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship, slated to open at the start of the 2018–19 academic year. Designed by Professor John Ronan of our College of Architecture, the Kaplan Institute is the first major academic building to be constructed on campus since the early 1970s. The building will house Illinois Tech’s Idea Shop, the Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) Program, and the Jules F. Knapp Entrepreneurship Center, as well as visiting entrepreneurs and community collaborators. You can view a livestream of the construction site at http://bit.ly/2vtbVyQ. Also, the rooftop of IIT Tower, the tallest building on our landmark Mies Campus, now hosts a weather camera that features shots of the city’s skyline on ABC7 Chicago news broadcasts.  

For our faculty the horizon is limitless. Jean-Luc Ayitou, assistant professor of chemistry, was presented with a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation for his research on novel polycyclic chromophores that exhibit anti-aromaticity. Our two faculty teams that have advanced to the second phase of the Nayar Prize II competition continue to work on their projects. Illinois Tech Trustee Madhavan Nayar (M.S. IE ’68), his wife, Teresa, on behalf of the Nayar Family Foundation, established a $1 million gift to fund the Nayar Prize to challenge Illinois Tech faculty, staff, and students to develop breakthrough, innovative projects that will, within three years, produce meaningful results with a societal impact.

One team is constructing the Microfluidic Drug Microbiota Interaction Platform, which will aid patients in assessing how their individual microbiota can influence the efficacy and toxicity of the pharmaceutical drugs they are taking. A second team is exploring Data-Driven Crime Prevention, developing a program in Elgin, Illinois, to offer social services to individuals at serious risk for involvement in crime, with modern machine- learning technology providing an informational tool to help identify candidates for this assistance. Each team has been credited with $100,000. This October a jury will determine which team will advance to the final round of funding. 

Our university prepares students to anticipate, manage, and adapt to change through an educational experience that is rigorous in the classroom and broadening outside of the classroom. Throughout the past century, we have become a campus rich in diversity, welcoming students from 100 countries and faculty from prestigious universities across the United States and around the world. We expect our graduates to be successful professionals, comfortable in our global economy, and recognized as leaders in whatever future that they choose.

There is more we can and will accomplish. And I invite you to join us on our journey.

Alan W. Cramb
President