Former Technion President Yitzhak Apeloig Inducted into American Academy of Arts and Sciences

October 21, 2010
By: Kevin Hattori

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Past President Prof. Yitzhak Apeloig was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) during an October 9 ceremony in Cambridge, Mass. The program officially welcomed the Academy’s 230th class of Fellows, who are recognized for cutting edge research and scholarship, artistic accomplishment and exemplary service to society.

“The induction ceremony celebrates the Academy’s mission and the accomplishments of its newly elected members,” said Academy President Leslie Berlowitz. “Through three centuries of service, the Academy and its Fellows have been dedicated to intellectual leadership and constructive action in America and the world.”

Prof. Yitzhak Apeloig

Prof. Yitzhak Apeloig signing the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Book of Members, a tradition dating back to 1780. Photo credit: Martha Stewart.

Prof. Apeloig is a pioneer in the use of computations based on the Theory of Quantum Mechanics for predicting the physical and chemical properties of materials, as well as suggesting methods for preparing them. His work opened the door for producing new silicon compounds that did not previously exist, and that can serve as a basis for producing new polymer materials with unique properties. Silicones, important organosilicon materials, are extremely waterproof, so they can be used in preservation structures and as insulation, in cosmetics, and in various implants, and materials inserted into the body such as catheters and infusions. They are also exceptionally durable under severe weather conditions and drastic temperature changes.

During his presidency, Prof. Apeloig demonstrated visionary leadership, striving for excellence in research and teaching. His highest priorities were the recruitment of brilliant faculty, increasing the number of graduate students, and the encouragement of excellence in research, especially in multidisciplinary fields that cut across disciplines such as nanotechnology and the interface between the life sciences and engineering. He also served a one-year term as the leader of the Association of University Heads in Israel – a particularly important position in the ongoing struggle to support higher education in Israel – in 2004 and again in 2009.

Founded in 1780, the AAAS is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. The Academy’s elected members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is Israel’s leading science and technology university. Home to the country’s winners of the Nobel Prize in science, it commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in nanotechnology, computer science, biotechnology, water-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine. The majority of the founders and managers of Israel’s high-tech companies are alumni. Based in New York City, the American Technion Society (ATS) is the leading American organization supporting higher education in Israel, with offices around the country.