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Campus News


Governor Announces College of Nanotechnology

by Mary Fiess

The University at Albany will be home to the first College of Nanotechnology in the nation, under a proposal announced by Governor George Pataki, during his State-of-the-State address on Jan. 7. The purpose of the new college, said Pataki, is “to provide our industry with the high-quality workforce it needs to grow in New York State.”

“The new College of Nanotechnology will position UAlbany to advance this new frontier of research and education and to compete effectively for the federal funding that is being directed to this critical area,” said UAlbany President Karen R. Hitchcock.

National Nanotechnology Initiative legislation was recently passed in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and signed into law by President Bush. It authorizes $3.7 billion over the next four years, the largest such federal funding for any science initiative in U.S. history. Two key sponsors of the bill are New York Congressman Sherwood Boehlert, chair of the Science Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, and New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

Also in January, School of Nanosciences and Nanoengineering Professor Vincent LaBella was awarded a $400,000 National Science Foundation grant through its Faculty Early Career Development Program. The award was the latest LaBella’s work has attracted. Since joining the School in 2003, he also won a $750,000 grant from the New York State Office of Science Technology and Academic Research Faculty Development Program and a $600,000 award from the Interconnect Focus Center.

LaBella is an expert in surface nanosciences and the emerging field of spintronics, which focuses on exploiting the spin of the electron to design and fabricate novel semiconductor devices that are exponentially faster and more efficient than current device generations. The technology could lead to new computer chips that operate much faster and provide high functionality while using less power.