December 12, 2011

Five LSU researchers have been honored with the rank of “Fellow” by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, the world’s largest scientific organization. Having five AAAS Fellows in one year ranks LSU among the top 10 percent of universities with individuals receiving the honor – with 539 fellows selected from more than 230 institutions worldwide. 

Michael Khonsari, professor, Dow Chemical Endowed Chair in Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME), College of Engineering, and director, Center for Rotating Machinery, was named for his distinguished contributions to multidisciplinary scientific research and development particularly in the field of tribology and for outstanding leadership in building research infrastructure across the state of Louisiana.

Kemin Zhou, Mark and Carolyn C. Guidry Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE), College of Engineering, was awarded for his distinguished contributions to the field of advanced control theory and technology.

Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers in recognition of their efforts toward advancing science applications deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. 

“Professor Khonsari’s contributions in tribology are numerous and substantial and his recent, unique work on the prediction of the life-time of engineering materials is of paramount relevance to a broad range of industrial applications,” said Dimitris Nikitopoulos, chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering. “In view of these contributions this award is a well-deserved and natural outcome, and a source of pride for LSU”

“Kemin’s scholarly contributions to the field of control systems in both research and instruction have always been noteworthy,” stated Pratul Ajmera, ECE interim chair.

In addition to Khonsari and Zhou, LSU’s newest AAAS Fellows from the College of Science are: James Moroney, Glenda Wooters Streva Memorial LSU Alumni Association Departmental Professor of Biological Sciences; Huiming Bao, associate professor in the Department of Geology & Geophysics; and Gary Byerly, Richard R. & Betty S. Fenton Alumni Professor in the Department of Geology & Geophysics.

“LSU has been in the top 10 percent of AAAS Fellow recipient institutions for at least the past three years,” said Thomas Klei, interim vice chancellor of research and economic development at LSU. “This is truly demonstrative of the level of research expertise and impact we produce here.”

The 2011 AAAS Fellows will be featured in the AAAS News & Notes section of the Dec. 23 issue of Science. New fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2012 AAAS Annual Meeting in Vancouver, B. C., Canada. 

Two other faculty researchers in the College of Engineering hold the honor of AAAS Fellow including:  2006, Su-Seng Pang, LSU associate vice chancellor, Strategic Initiatives, and Jack Holmes Professor, ME; and 2009, Kalliat T. Valsaraj, LSU associate vice chancellor, Research and Economic Development, Charles and Hilda Roddey Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Ike East Professorship, Cain Department of Chemical Engineering.

The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. AAAS members can be considered for the rank of fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the association’s 24 sections, or by any three fellows who are current AAAS members – so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee’s institution – or by the AAAS chief executive officer. 

Each steering group then reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and a final list is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the aggregate list.

The council is the policymaking body of the association, chaired by the AAAS president, and consisting of the members of the Board of Directors, the Retiring Section Chairs, delegates from each electorate and each regional division and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.

AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science. AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of a million. The non-profit AAAS, found at, is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education and more.

The AAAS Fellow distinction supports the LSU College of Engineering’s five-year strategic plan, where research and innovation goals seek to establish excellence with national and international visibility in key areas of value to the state, the nation and the world. To find out more about LSU’s College of Engineering, visit:


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