News Release

University of Minnesota Twin Cities faculty selected for prestigious MacArthur Fellowship

University of Minnesota Twin Cities faculty Damien Fair and Paul Dauenhauer.
University of Minnesota Twin Cities faculty Damien Fair and Paul Dauenhauer.

University of Minnesota Twin Cities faculty Paul Dauenhauer and Damien Fair have been named fellows by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation this year. Fair and Dauenhauer were each recipients of "genius grants" that are given to faculty who illustrate originality and creative pursuits in their field of study.

Paul Dauenhauer, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
“It is a great honor to be selected for the Macarthur Fellowship. Our laboratory took immense intellectual risk to develop new, frontier technologies in renewable materials and sustainable energy storage, and these have paid off with the dedication and hard work of our incredible students at the University of Minnesota. I am proud of all of their accomplishments and am pleased to see our collective work highlighted by this award.”

Paul Dauenhauer, the Lanny Schmidt Honorary Professor in the College of Science and Engineering Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, is a chemical engineer developing new technologies for converting biomass — materials derived from organic, renewable sources — into the chemical building blocks of products that are currently sourced from fossil fuels.

Damien Fair, Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain
“It is humbling to have been selected for the MacArthur Fellowship. The progress we’ve made toward characterizing brain function rests on the shoulders of giants in the field, has been motivated by the passions of the students and trainees, and is made possible by the collaborative nature of my peers. I am thrilled for the opportunity to continue this journey toward improving developmental brain health with my exceptional colleagues and community partners here in Minnesota.”

Damien A. Fair, PA-C, Ph.D., is the Redleaf Endowed Director of the University’s Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain. Fair has extensive research expertise in brain imaging and cognitive neuroscience, and is renowned for his collaborative and engaging leadership. He is also a professor in the Institute of Child Development in the College of Education and Human Development and in the Department of Pediatrics at the Medical School. 

The MacArthur Foundation fellowship is awarded to talented individuals in a variety of fields who have shown exceptional originality in and dedication to their creative pursuits. Fellows receive $625,000 stipends that are bestowed with no conditions Recipients may use the money as they see fit to further their pursuits. Nominated anonymously by leaders in their respective fields and considered by an anonymous selection committee, recipients learn of their selection only when they receive a call from the MacArthur Foundation just before the public announcement.