"Inspired by autonomous function
in biological systems,
we develop materials capable of self-healing and regeneration,
self-sensing and
self-cooling to achieve
material stasis."

Nancy R. Sottos

Nancy Sottos
Donald B. Willett Professor of Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Office 210 Materials Science and Engineering Building

Telephone 217-333-1041 Fax 217-244-0181

Mail Address Department of Materials Science and Engineering
1304 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801

n-sottos@illinois.edu    Sottos research group page

  • Profile
  • Research
  • Publications
  • Awards


Nancy Sottos is the Donald B. Willet Professor of Engineering in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is also a co-chair of the Molecular and Electronic Nanostructures Research Theme at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and a University Scholar. Sottos started her faculty career at Illinois after earning a B.S. and a Ph.D. in 1986 and 1991, respectively, in mechanical engineering from the University of Delaware.  Her research focuses on the development of autonomic materials systems that have the ability to achieve adaptation and response in an independent and automatic fashion. Recent highlights of Sottos’ work include: (i) nanostructured self-healing polymers, (ii) self-sensing, mechanochemically active polymeric materials, (iii) autonomous materials systems with microvascular networks, (iv) fluorescent digital image correlation strain measurement with nanoscale resolution, and (v) metrology for dynamic interfacial adhesion measurement in multilayer thin films. 

Autonomic Materials Systems

Microelectronic Reliability

  • Thin Film Adhesion
  • Molecular Control of Interfaces

Mechanics of Polymers & Composites

  • Multifunctional Composites
  • Composite Interfaces


For a complete list of Prof. Sottos’ publications, see sottosgroup.beckman.illinois.edu/j_pubs.html

  • Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (1992)
  • Outstanding Engineering Advisor Award, UIUC (1992, 1998, 1999, 2002)
  • Robert E. Miller Award for Excellence in Teaching (1999)
  • Associate Technical Editor, Experimental Mechanics (1999-2003)
  • Member of the Editorial Board, Composite Science and Technology (2002-present)
  • Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement, University of Delaware (2002)
  • University Scholar, UIUC (2002)
  • Senior Technical Editor, Experimental Mechanics (2003- present)
  • Hetényi Award from the Society for Experimental Mechanics (2004)
  • Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering, UIUC (2005-present)
  • Fellow, Society of Engineering Science (2006)
  • SciAm 50 Award (2007)
  • Lazan Award, Society for Experimental Mechanics (2011)
  • Frocht Award, Society for Experimental Mechanics (2011)
  • Fellow, Society for Experimental Mechanics (2012)