The Physical Sciences Division Council was established in 1964. The Council serves as one of fourteen active Advisory Councils created to represent the academic units at the University of Chicago. The Council enjoys an unfiltered view into the research and priorities of the Division. This understanding equips members to be the Division’s primary advocates, volunteers, and advisors working to enhance the future of science at the University of Chicago and throughout the world.
Members of the Council have four key responsibilities to the Division:
- Active and Consistent Participation
- Advice to the Dean
- Personal Philanthropy
- Support for Fundraising Efforts
PSD Council Members
H. Carol Bernstein has served as the Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel of Cabot Microelectronics Corporation, a leading global provider of semiconductor materials. Prior to that, she served as the General Counsel and Director of Industrial Technology Development of Argonne National Laboratory. Mrs. Bernstein received her B.A. from Colgate University and her J.D. from Northwestern University, and is a member of the Bar of the States of Illinois and New York.
Richard Black is President and CEO of ECRM Inc., an electronics manufacturer specializing in laser-based optical systems for production equipment and medical devices. He formerly served as President and CEO of Alusuisse of America, Inc., and was also an Adjunct Professor at Beloit College. Mr. Black received his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and his MBA from Harvard University.
Benjamin Blander is a Managing Member at Radix Trading LLC, focusing on quantitative research and scientific trading. Radix is one of the most active liquidity providers on global electronic exchanges. Mr. Blander holds a PhD, MS, and BS in Mathematics from the University of Chicago.
Anthony Capozzoli is an Executive Director at SMBC Capital Markets, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. Mr. Capozzoli focuses on quantitative methods to analyze and manage interest rate, foreign exchange, and commodity risk for corporate and institutional clients. His career includes positions in quantitative financial modeling, derivatives trading, foreign exchange sales, structured product distribution, and corporate risk management advisory. He holds a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Chicago.
Matt Cushman is CEO at Etale Inc., which offers the first institutional grade trading technology suite for cryptocurrencies. He was previously a Portfolio Manager and Partner at Engineers Gate, a quantitative investment company. Mr. Cushman holds a PhD in mathematics from the University of Chicago and a master’s in mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University.
Bryan Daniels co-founded Prairie Capital in 1997 and currently serves as a Founding Partner, sharing overall management responsibility of the firm. Prairie Capital is a private equity group that partners with talented business owners and management teams. Prior to establishing Prairie, Mr. Daniels spent 17 years at American National Bank & Trust Company, now JP Morgan Chase. He supports two Chicago Area schools specializing in education for bright students with learning differences: Wolcott School and Hyde Park Day School.
Bill Eckhardt is the founder and CEO of Eckhardt Trading Company, specializing in futures trading and risk management. He has developed numerous technical trading systems applying ETC’s unique portfolio theory and evolutionary computing algorithms. Mr. Eckhardt earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from DePaul University and a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago.
Michael Fain began his engineering career at the Hydrodynamics Laboratory of the University of Chicago in the 1950s. He has been a mechanical and optical engineer and project manager for various aerospace companies, and is the founder and former president of Alphametrics, Ltd., a manufacturer of precision light measuring equipment. Mr. Fain has been on the boards of the Computers for Kids Foundation and Rocky Mountain institute and is currently on the board of the Aspen Science Center.
Hiroshi Fujiwara is Founder and President of BroadBand Tower, Inc., an IT service management company based in Tokyo, Japan. He has also worked at IBM Japan, Hitachi Engineering, ASCI II and Bellcore. Mr. Fujiwara studied astrophysics at Kyoto University.
Lawrence J. Furnstahl is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Oregon Health & Science University, a $3 billion Oregon public corporation with 3,000 faculty and 14,000 staff, 4,000 students and trainees, $500 million of research, and the state’s academic health center. In 2015, Governor Kate Brown appointed him to the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System Board, where he is now vice-chair. Mr. Furnstahl is a 1983 graduate of the College of the University of Chicago, in economics.
Fisk Johnson is Chairman, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of SC Johnson, which he has been part of since 1987. He also serves on the Consumer Goods Forum Board of Directors and the President’s Advisory Council on Trade Policy and Negotiation. Mr. Johnson has his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and physics, two master’s degrees in physics and engineering physics, MBA, and PhD in physics from Cornell University.
Dietrich Kappe is Chief Technology Officer at the Peterson Group, where he has been for twenty five years. He was previously Chief Operating Officer at Pathfinder Software and Chief Technology Officer at Pathfinder Development. Mr. Kappe earned a bachelor of arts in mathematics from the University of Chicago and studied computer science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Arthur Kelly is Managing Partner and one of the Founders at KEL Enterprises LP, a private equity firm based in Chicago. He previously served as Senior Partner at the management consulting firm A. T. Kearney Inc. Mr. Kelly received a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Yale University and an MBA from the University of Chicago, and he is an Emeritus Trustee of the University of Chicago.
Kerr, PHD ‘95 (Chemistry)
Steven Kersten is President of WaterSaver Faucet Company, the largest manufacturer of faucets, valves, and products for science laboratories. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a JD from the University of Chicago. Mr. Kersten is a Trustee of the University of Chicago.
Alec Litowitz is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Magnetar Capital, a leading alternative asset management firm. He also serves as Chairman of the firm’s Management Committee and is co-head of the Investment Committee. Mr. Litowitz created and continues to be extensively involved with the Magnetar Capital UChicago Financial Education Initiative, an innovative high school-based financial education program. He received a bachelor’s degree in math and anthropology at MIT, along with a JD and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
John McCarter retired as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Field Museum in 2012, where he remains a Life Trustee and President Emeritus. He formerly served as Senior Vice President of Booz Allen & Hamilton, Inc. Mr. McCarter received a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, earned an MBA from Harvard University, and attended the London School of Economics. He is an Emeritus Trustee of the University of Chicago.
Stefan Murry is Chief Financial Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, Senior VP of Global Sales, and Vice President at Applied Optoelectronics, Inc., which designs and manufactures advanced optical devices. He has been with AOI for over twenty years. Dr. Murry holds a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Houston.
Neil Novich is the retired Chairman, President and CEO of Ryerson. Prior to its sale to private equity, Ryerson was a Fortune 500 company with sales of $6 billion and was one of the largest global metals fabricators, processors and distributors with operations in North America and joint ventures in Mexico, India and China. Mr. Novich was previously with Bain & Co. He has a degree in physics from Harvard University and masters’ degrees in nuclear engineering and in management from MIT.
After 30 years with Morningstar, Catherine Odelbo retired in June 2018. As the firm’s first Strategy Officer, she was responsible for driving firm value. Ms. Odelbo also managed several businesses for the firm, including launching and developing Morningstar’s equity and credit research business, Morningstar.com. She is the Morningstar representative on the board of start-up Ellevest and a Trustee of the Chicago Architecture Center. She has AB and MBA degrees with several honors from the University of Chicago.
Arne Olson, Director of the law firm Olson & Cepuritis, Ltd., has practiced intellectual property law in Chicago for 40 years. He handles complex patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret litigation in the U.S. and other countries. Mr. Olson is also involved in protecting and licensing patent rights relating to a wide range of technologies, including representing universities worldwide.
Harvey Plotnick is retired President of Chicago-based Contemporary Books, which he sold to Tribune Co. in 1993. He is a leading collector of medieval Islamic ceramics, some of which have been showcased at the Art Institute of Chicago. Mr. Plotnick received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in English, and is an Emeritus Trustee of the University.
Nick Pritzker is co-founder of Tao Capital Partners, which invests in technology, alternative energy and transportation, healthcare, education, sustainable food and agriculture, consumer, and real estate businesses. He formerly served as Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Hyatt Development Corporation.
Geetha Rao is CEO of Springborne Life Sciences, where she works on technology commercialization and regulatory strategy, quality management and compliance. Before Springborne, she served as CEO of Technology Frontiers Collaborative and as part of the executive leadership team with Triple Ring Technologies, Inc. Dr. Rao holds a PhD in engineering from MIT.
Louise Rehling is a retired executive in the software industry and currently an advisor to technology-based startup companies. She has served on the Physical Sciences Division Council since 2005. Previously Ms. Rehling served on the Visiting Committee to the College, on the University’s Alumni Board, was chairperson of the Alumni Awards Committee, and was a leader in Alumni Fund development.
Bob Rosner is the William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor for the Departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics, Enrico Fermi Institute, and the College. He previously served as Chair for the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and as Chief Scientist and Director of the Argonne National Laboratory. Professor Rosner’s research work is largely in the areas of theoretical physics and astrophysics.
Richard Schaar is the former Executive Advisor to the Public Affairs Office of Texas Instruments, Incorporated (TI). In this capacity, Dr. Schaar advised TI and its customers in the areas of math and science education policy. He has also served as Senior Vice President of Texas Instruments, Incorporated and as President of TI’s Education and Productivity Solutions business, which he led to a leadership position in educational technology and professional development.
Joan Winstein holds a master’s from the University of Chicago. She and her late husband, Bruce Winstein (who founded the University’s Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics and was on the physics faculty for over 30 years) have been long-time donors, endowing a prize for instrumentation in the Physics Department and a fellowship for visiting scholars. Mrs. Winstein has her own business, providing back-office support to authors. She is also a docent for the Chicago Architecture Center.
Mihir Worah is CIO Asset Allocation and Real Return and a managing director in PIMCO’s Newport Beach office. He is a member of the Investment Committee and the Executive Committee, and oversees portfolio management for the U.S. Prior to joining PIMCO, Mr. Worah was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of California, Berkeley. He has 18 years of investment experience and holds a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Chicago.
Chris Yen is President of Micro Lithography, Inc., a pellicle manufacturing company. He was formerly Director and Trustee of Anagen Therapeutics, Inc. In addition to his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Chicago, Dr. Yen completed postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley.