Engineering Senior Associate Dean Kimani Toussaint has been invited to participate in the National Academy of Sciences’ Intersections 2021: Connect, Converge, Collaborate. This program, designed by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in collaboration with the Getty Foundation, will connect experts in the sciences with artists and curators who are grantees of the Pacific Standard Time (PST): 2024 Initiative exploring the relationship between art and science. The committee believes Toussaint’s work and expertise resonates with the themes and topics selected by the curators of PST.
PST is an iterative collaboration of arts institutions across Southern California led by the Getty and made possible through Getty Foundation grants. Since 2011, the initiative has produced hundreds of linked art exhibitions, scholarly publications, and public programs, the majority of which have relied on grant-supported research to come to fruition. The theme of art and science is an unprecedented opportunity for the Getty and the NAS to come together for an exchange of ideas.
As part of the program, Toussaint will help explore the fertile terrain between disciplines and connect with curators and artists who have an interest in a variety of topics from “ecology and sustainability” and “indigenous knowledge and technologies” to “technologies and seeing” and “biology and medicine” – and many other interesting disciplines and current issues in science, engineering, and medicine. A complete list of the PST: 2024 projects is available online.
Intersections 2021 has two convenings, one of which already occured on August 31, 2021. The event kicked off with welcome addresses from Getty Foundation Director Joan Weinstein and NAS President Marcia McNutt. A main focus of activities was to explore connections between various types of artists and STEM researchers. The second convening of Intersections 2021 will be on October 28, 2021.
Last March, Toussaint was also asked to present at the National Science Foundation’s Future of Semiconductors and Beyond Workshop. Toussaint joined Brown Engineering in 2019, and was named to a three-year term as Senior Associate Dean of the School in August of 2020.
He directs the laboratory for Photonics Research of Bio/nano Environments (PROBE Lab), an interdisciplinary research group which focuses on both developing nonlinear optical imaging techniques for quantitative assessment of biological tissues, and novel methods for harnessing plasmonic nanostructures for light-driven control of matter. His research has been supported by a diverse array of federal and private funding sources including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.
Prior to joining Brown, Toussaint was on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for 12 years in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering. He was a recipient of a 2010 NSF CAREER Award, the 2014-2015 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Associate Professor at MIT, the 2015 Illinois Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research, the 2017 Illinois Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence, and the 2019 Campus Distinguished Promotion Award (at Illinois). He is also a Fellow of the Optical Society of America,the SPIE (the International Society for Optics and Photonics), and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He also holds senior member status in the Institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). In addition, he served as the primary investigator and inaugural director of the NSF Nanomanufacturing (nanoMFG) Node at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 2017-2019.