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Esteemed Alumnus Returns to NCSA

By Megan Meave Johnson

University of Illinois alumni often say there is something akin to a gravity well in Urbana-Champaign. In many places on campus, you’ll find UIUC alumni employed, returning to the memories and atmosphere of accomplishment that these grounds are steeped in. NCSA’s newest faculty affiliate, Kelvin Droegemeier, is no stranger to this pull.

Droegemeier earned his master’s degree in atmospheric sciences from UIUC in 1982. He followed that up with a Ph.D. in 1985. In the years since he graduated, he’s had a number of achievements. Among his many esteemed roles as a research meteorologist, Droegemeier led the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, has been a member of the faculty at the University of Oklahoma since 1985, served as University of Oklahoma’s vice president for research from 2009-2018 and even served as acting director of the National Science Foundation for a few months in 2020.

Droegemeier brings all this experience and knowledge to UIUC and NCSA as he returns to his alma mater this year. “Coming back to U of I will be just like coming home. I’m looking forward to investing my heart and soul in a place that has very special meaning to my wife and me, as she also has graduate degrees from the U of I. It’s part of our family, our DNA and our hearts,” said Droegemeier. “Illinois is one of the top universities on the planet. It’s got extraordinary leadership, extraordinary faculty and facilities. And there’s a deep history and legacy of innovation; there’s no shortage of big ideas on campus.”

But Droegemeier isn’t just returning to UIUC – he’s also coming back home to the supercomputing center that his advisor helped establish as one of the first academic supercomputing centers in the United States.

To read more about Drogemeier returning to NCSA click HERE