Lakhtakia honored with Evan Pugh Professorship


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Charles Godfrey Binder Professor in Engineering Science and Mechanics, was one of four Penn State professors who were recently named Evan Pugh Professors, an elite and prestigious distinction conferred by the University on only 72 faculty members since the establishment of the designation in 1960.

Evan Pugh Professorship is the University’s highest faculty honor. Named for Penn State’s founding president Evan Pugh, a renowned chemist and scholar who was at the helm of  the University from 1859 to 1864, the Evan Pugh Professorships are awarded to faculty members who are nationally or internationally recognized leaders in their fields of research or creative activity; demonstrate significant leadership in raising the standards of the University with respect to teaching, research or creativity, and service; display excellent teaching skills with undergraduate and graduate students who go on to achieve distinction in their fields; and receive support from colleagues who also are leaders in their disciplines.

Lakhtakia is an internationally recognized scholar who researches nanotechnology and the behavior of electromagnetic fields and waves in complex materials. He has developed novel coating techniques for industrially scalable bioreplication, which holds promise for applications ranging from retrieving fingerprints to harvesting solar energy.

He holds a B.Tech. and D.Sc. in electronics engineering from Banaras Hindu University, as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Utah.

Since joining Penn State in 1983, Lakhtakia has been honored for his teaching and research with a 1996 Penn State Engineering Alumni Society (PSEAS) Outstanding Research Award, a 2005 Nanotech Briefs Nano 50 Award for Nanotechnology, a 2005 PSEAS Outstanding Advising Award, a 2006 Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal, a 2008 PSEAS Premier Research Award, the 2010 International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) Technical Achievement Award, a 2016 PSEAS Outstanding Teaching Award and the 2016 Sigma Xi Walston Chubb Award for Innovation.

He is also a fellow of the Optical Society of America, SPIE, the Institute of Physics (United Kingdom), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

An advisory committee of seven Penn State faculty members, including three Evan Pugh professors, reviews nominations for the honor of Evan Pugh Professorship and makes recommendations to the University president.

Of the 72 Evan Pugh Professors, 29 are still actively teaching and pursuing research or creative work at Penn State.


Share this story:

facebook linked in twitter email


Chris Spallino

Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Charles Godfrey Binder Professor in Engineering Science and Mechanics

Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Charles Godfrey Binder Professor in Engineering Science and Mechanics and Evan Pugh Professor



The Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) is an internationally distinguished department that is recognized for its globally competitive excellence in engineering and scientific accomplishments, research, and educational leadership.

Our Engineering Science program is the official undergraduate honors program of the College of Engineering, attracting the University’s brightest engineering students. We also offer graduate degrees in ESM, engineering mechanics, engineering at the nano-scale, and an integrated undergraduate/graduate program.

Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics

212 Earth and Engineering Sciences Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-4523