University of Illinois & ISTC header

Killeen to head Illinois Science & Technology Coalition board
Group shares U of I mission to grow state’s economy, jobs

June 24. 2015

Note to journalists: A print quality photo of Timothy L. Killeen is available online at

CHICAGO – University of Illinois President Timothy L. Killeen has been elected chairman of the board of directors of the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC), a statewide association that promotes research and innovation to foster economic growth for the state.

Killeen, a leading researcher in geophysics and space sciences with more than 30 years of experience in public higher education and in leadership positions with national scientific research agencies, succeeds outgoing board chair Douglas Baker, president of Northern Illinois University.

“The ISTC and the University of Illinois share a mission to create and strengthen dynamic partnerships to drive innovation and economic growth across the state of Illinois,” said Killeen, whose term as chairman begins July 1. “I am eager for the opportunity to build on the ISTC’s capabilities and help unite research institutions, industry and civic organizations towards our common goal of making Illinois the absolute go-to place for innovation.” 

Since taking office as the U of I’s 20th president in May, Killeen has championed the university’s power to provide the human capital and innovation that will drive economic revitalization for the state. The university’s three campuses award more than 20,000 degrees annually and its nearly $1 billion in annual research funding ranks in the top 10 among universities nationwide.

He also has promoted the public-private partnerships that are at the core of ISTC’s mission. The non-profit organization was created to forge collaboration among leading businesses, universities and research laboratories in Illinois, creating partnerships that yield groundbreaking research ideas, attract funding from government and private foundations, and create jobs.

“Dr. Killeen’s three decades of experience as a researcher and administrator at the university and government agency level, and his enthusiasm in his new role bring a great energy to the leadership of the ISTC. His mandate at the U of I mirrors our core mission to connect research and talent to the marketplace to drive economic growth,” said Mark Harris, president and CEO of the ISTC.

ISTC members include industry leaders such as AbbVie, ADM, Allstate, Northrop Grumman and Motorola Mobility, along with top research institutions such as the U of I, Northwestern University and the Argonne National Laboratory.

Earlier this month, ISTC announced 10 new companies and educational institutions that have joined the organization’s membership: Caterpillar, Chicago Innovation Awards, Danfoss, John Deere, Grainger, Hyatt, Molex, State Farm, UL (Underwriters Laboratories), and UI LABS, a non-profit research center created by the U of I to foster public-private collaboration.

Along with chairing ISTC’s 10-member board, Killeen also will serve as board chairman of the Illinois Science & Technology Institute, a 501(c)(3) affiliate of the ISTC, focused on the development of Illinois’ talent pipeline in the critical fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

As president, Killeen heads a university that is the state’s largest educator, with more than 78,000 students on its campuses in Chicago, Springfield and Urbana-Champaign.

The Urbana-Champaign and Chicago campuses are top-tier research universities, with a legacy of discovery by faculty and alumni that includes LED lighting, night vision and robotic surgery technology and the first graphical Internet browser. The Urbana-Champaign campus has ranked first in the nation for five straight years in funding from the National Science Foundation. The Chicago campus, home to the nation’s largest medical school, ranks 46th in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

The university helps turn discovery into industry at research parks on its Urbana-Champaign and Chicago campuses, and through IllinoisVENTURES, a company created to help start-up firms take technology from laboratories to the marketplace.

Before joining the U of I, Killeen served as vice chancellor for research and president of the Research Foundation of the State University of New York (SUNY). He spent more than 20 years on the faculty and in administration at the University of Michigan, and served as assistant director for geosciences at the National Science Foundation before joining SUNY in 2012. The independent federal agency provides nearly a quarter of federal research funding for U.S. colleges and universities.

Killeen earned his Ph.D. in atomic and molecular physics from University College London. In 2007, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, which honors the world’s most accomplished engineers.

For more information about the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition and Institute visit


The University of Illinois is a world leader in research and discovery, the largest educational institution in the state with more than 78,000 students, 25,000 faculty and staff, and campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I awards more than 20,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.