Frances H. Arnold, the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry, and director of the Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center; and Andrew M. Stuart, the Bren Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, have been named fellows of the Royal Society of Great Britain. Founded in 1660, the Royal Society is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. Arnold and Stuart are among 62 inductees to the society this year.
“While election to the fellowship is a recognition of exceptional individual contributions to the sciences, it is also a network of expertise that can be drawn on to address issues of societal and global significance,” said Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the Royal Society, in a prepared statement. “This year’s fellows and foreign members have helped shape the 21st century through their work at the cutting edge of fields from human genomics to climate science and machine learning.”
Arnold is best known for her work on directed evolution, which has been used to create enzymes that make chemicals not found in nature, including molecules containing silicon-carbon or boron-carbon bonds, or bicyclobutanes, which contain energy-packed carbon rings. By using bacteria that make the new enzymes, researchers can potentially make these chemical compounds in “greener” ways that are more economical and produce less toxic waste. She won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2018 for her achievements in this field.
Arnold received her undergraduate degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University in 1979 and her graduate degree in chemical engineering from UC Berkeley in 1985. She became a visiting associate at Caltech in 1986 and was named assistant professor in 1987, associate professor in 1992, professor in 1996, Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry in 2000, and Pauling Professor in 2017.
Stuart, an applied mathematician, researches the development of frameworks for integrating mathematical models with data. These frameworks have applications in geophysical sciences, such as weather forecasting, with the goal of making predictions more accurate.
He received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Bristol in 1983, and his doctorate in computing from the University of Oxford in 1986. He was named Bren Professor at Caltech in 2016.