Karl Hess Ph.D.

Hess, Karl
Position Department / Business Unit
Institution Disciplines
National Science Board Physics Mathematics
City State / Provence
Arlington Virginia
Country Website
US link

Karl Hess was born in Austria and received a Ph.D. in Physics/Mathematics from the University of Vienna.

Dr. Hess has been a member of the faculty at the University of Vienna, Austria (Applied Physics) and since 1977 of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics). In 1988, he became a naturalized citizen of the USA.

Hess served as chair of committees that formulated the proposal and laid the foundations for the Beckman Institute at Urbana-Champaign. He was named University Scholar and Eminent faculty in the early 1990s and has held the Swanlund Chair since 1996. In 1997, he was elected Advanced Study Professor. Since June 1, 2006 he is Advanced Study Professor Emeritus.

His research interests encompass solid state physics, solid state electronics, nano-science and technology, supercomputing applications, nano-structure simulation and, most recently, quantum information and quantum computing. He has published one book, edited and co-edited five books, written 10 book-chapters, more than 350 journal publications, and around 100 papers in conference proceedings.

Hess is an honorary Doctor of Sciences of the ETH (Electro-Technical University) Zuerich (Switzerland) and has received a number of national and international awards including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) J. J. Ebers Award, the IEEE Sarnoff Technical Field Award, and the Heinrich Welker Memorial Award. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Hess is also a member of both the National Academy of Engineering (2001) and the National Academy of Sciences (2003).

He was appointed to the National Science Board in 2006.  The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency with a budget of $5 billion a year that accounts for about 20% of all federally funded basic academic research. The NSB said board members are selected on the basis of their eminence in certain fields. As a board member Hess will have a voice in directing science policies and funding, but he won't walk into board meetings with an agenda.


Ph.D., University of Vienna, Austria, 1970


Contributor to the Handbook of Nanoscience, Engineering and Technology, Second Edition (CRC Press) 2007.

By this Researcher