UAlbany Establishes New School of Nanosciences and Materials
Contact: Vincent Reda, 437-4985
Building on its renowned expertise in microelectronics and advanced
materials, the University at Albany is establishing a new School of
Nanosciences and Materials to develop the knowledge base that prepares
students for the high-tech challenges ahead in the emerging field of
The school plans to offer cross-disciplinary doctoral and master's
degree programs that integrate the fundamental science principles of
physics, chemistry, computer science and biology with the cross-cutting
fields of nanosciences, nanotechnology, and advanced materials.
"Our School of Nanosciences and Materials is a key step in our strategy
to build world-class academic and research programs that both create
a highly-qualified pool of future scientists and researchers and advance
the high-tech industries so critical to the economic strength of our
state and nation," said University at Albany President Karen R. Hitchcock.
The new school will build on the instructional capabilities and cutting-edge
infrastructure of the University's Institute for Materials, which manages
six interdisciplinary research centers in the fields of nanotechnology,
nanoelectronics and advanced materials.
"Institute Executive Director Alain Kaloyeros, who has built the institute
into an internationally recognized center for high-tech research, has
agreed to serve as founding dean of this new school and bring to life
our vision for it," said Hitchcock.
"By coupling the Institute's resources and University programs in the
sciences, this new school will become a one-of-a-kind intellectual powerhouse
offering an unparalleled education," said State University of New York
Chancellor Robert King. "There is a great need for highly-skilled employees
in rapidly growing high-tech fields and this new school will address
the need for interdisciplinary programs in nanosciences and advanced
The Institute, based at the Center for Environmental Sciences and Technology
Management (CESTM), boasts facilities valued at more than $100 million,
including the only pilot prototyping facility at any university in the
world for the current standard in computer chip design, the 200-millimeter,
or 8-inch wafer. And the University will soon break ground for a new
wing to CESTM that will house the academic world's first 300-millimeter
wafer prototyping and workforce training facility. The semiconductor
industry is moving to the next, larger generation, 300-mm wafer platform
for greater capacity and higher performance.
More than 100 U.S. and worldwide corporate partners use Institute facilities
or work with Institute scientists to test approaches in advanced materials
processing, and in January, Governor - more - George Pataki proposed
the creation of a Center for Excellence in Nanotechnology based at UAlbany
to build on that success.
Graduate students at the University who study and conduct research
in the technologically sophisticated environment provided at the Institute
have high-tech jobs lined up even before they graduate. Most of these
graduate students currently earn their master's or doctoral degrees
in physics although, at the same time, most have training that spans
Carlos E. Santiago, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
at the University at Albany, points out that, "To our knowledge, this
new interdisciplinary school is the first of its kind in the country
devoted to research, teaching, and service activities ¾ including technology
proto-typing and workforce development ¾ specifically in the up and
coming area of 'nanotechnology.' We are delighted that Dr. Kaloyeros
will lead this effort as founding dean."
The emerging world of nanotechnology requires expertise across a number
of disciplines, and the new school will better reflect the interdisciplinary
nature of the students' education.
"Put simply, nanotechnology combines the basic principles of chemistry,
physics, biology, and engineering to develop the knowledge for controlling
and manipulating individual atoms to yield truly novel materials, devices,
and systems with unique properties and performance. The resulting knowledge
base transcends the more conventional core scientific fields, and is
catalyzing the creation of new academic degrees and educational curricula,"
"Through the new school, we will work closely with the University's
existing departments to establish highly synergistic partnerships that
are greatly beneficial to our faculty and students," he said.
The new school will offer master's and doctoral programs in the following
areas: thin film single and multilayered material structures; optoelectronic
materials and architectures; nanosystems sciences and technologies;
materials for nanotechnology; materials characterization, analysis,
and metrology; and molecular materials and architectures.
Institute scientists James Castracane and Eric Lifshin are expected
to be the school's first senior faculty members, joining a cadre of
UAlbany faculty currently involved in the Institute for Materials. Castracane
currently serves as Institute director of technology and adjunct professor
in the physics and biology departments. Lifshin recently joined UAlbany
as director of electron imaging facilities and metrology after many
years with the General Electric Co., where he headed a team of 75 scientists.
"Industry needs people who are multi-disciplinary, not narrowly focused,"
noted Lifshin. "One of the big challenges at GE was finding people with
the right skill mix and recruiting them - it's more and more difficult
to find these skills." With the creation of the new school at UAlbany,
he said, "We are putting our heads where the potential employer's head
For more University at Albany information, visit our World Wide Web
site at http://www.Albany.edu.
April 16, 2001
University at Albany Home Page
Return to University News &