CHICAGO (AP) — The University of Illinois has picked one of its own professors to head an effort to build and operate a major innovation center in Chicago's South Loop.

William H. Sanders has led the engineering department at the university's Urbana-Champaign campus since 2014 and will oversee what's called the Discovery Partner's Institute. The Chicago Tribune reports those duties will include leading construction of the center, supervise all faculty and staff hiring and oversee all new corporate and academic partnerships.

Once it is operating, the center is expected to employ more than 100 faculty members who will specialize in research on computing and big data, environment and water, food and agriculture and health and wellness. School officials say the center will accommodate more than 2,000 students a year.

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Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com