I was born in Seattle but quickly moved to Los Altos, California, which I consider my hometown. Then, Los Altos was miles and miles of apricot orchards with a few houses. Now, known as the "Silicon Valley," it is miles and miles of houses and businesses with a few apricot trees.
I headed south to Pasadena to get my B.S. at Caltech in 1968. There (in a physics lecture hall) I also met my wife, Kris. We both headed north to Stanford in 1972 where I received my M.S. and Ph.D. in 1974 and 1976. The degrees were all in Applied Physics, but much of the work, including my thesis project, was done in Electrical Engineering Departments.
Upon graduating from Stanford in 1976, we felt it was time for us to leave California for awhile and I took a position at Bell Labs, Murray Hill, New Jersey. There, in the Solid State Electronics Lab, I developed Silicon Molecular Beam Epitaxy and grew the 1st practical GeSi/Si heterostructures and devices. Outside of work I co-produced two children, Emily and Jeff.
In 1986 I became head of the Semiconductor Materials Department. For the next five years,
the department remained focused on developing and applying new materials. Then, as AT&T faltered, we were
redirected to work with its ailing optoelectronics manufacturing unit. In this demanding but stimulating
environment, I learned how difficult it could be to transform a research idea into profitable production. This
experience fundamentally altered my appreciation of engineering, and I now draw heavily on that experience in
The divested AT&T decided to trivest itself and liquidate much of its research equipment
in 1996. This made it possible to act on a long time plan to one day return and teach at a university. So, with two full
sized moving vans stuffed full of MBE equipment, I joined the University of Virginia’s Department of Electrical
Engineering in January 1997.
As to outside interests, as a teen I got hooked on cross-country and I still try to run for an
hour on the forest trails west of grounds every other day. On weekends I am generally building something. If it isn’t working on a house with Habitat for Humanity, it is "landscaping" my yard (more accurately: moving tons of
Virginia rock, clay, or dirt to new locations).
At UVA, I have taught a range of courses. These have included (in approximate chronological order):
ECE 303 and ECE 663: Solid state devices at both the undergraduate and graduate levels
ENGR-162X: A new curriculum I was asked to develop for the introductory
course taken by all freshman in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
ECE 687: Quantum Mechanics for Engineers co-taught with Lloyd Harriott
ECE 786: Nanoelectronics, a team taught course in which I covered the topic of molecular
ENGR-141R: Synthesis and Design. The introductory course given to honors students in the
E-School’s Rodman Scholar’s Program
ENGR-250: "A Hands on Introduction to Nanoscience." A new course I have developed
under an NSF NUE grant to provide underclassmen of any discipline with a broad lab-based introduction to the
cross-disciplinary field of nanoscience. This includes student use of miniaturized STMs and AFMs, online virtual
reality simulations, and posting of all class materials on the web for use by other educators
Academia has allowed also allowed me to pursue broader research interests. Funded projects have included:
"Virtual Integrated Processing of GMR Materials" - a DARPA program to harness
computer modeling of deposition processes to produce improved production tools
"Molecular Scale Printing" - a DARPA program in which we developed a contact printing
process based on thermal crystallization of indium tin oxide.
NSF Focused Research Group, and Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)
- Projects on guided self-assembly of GeSi quantum dot structures for possible application in future computer
architectures such as quantum cellular automata (QCA).
NSF CCLI development of the "
UVA Virtual Lab" - My exploration of the use of web based 3D
animations to bring science and technology to younger students and members of the general public.
Since January 2005, visitors have viewed 10,845,933
webpages and iPodcast files.
NSF NUE development of a "Hands on Introduction to Nanoscience" for early undergraduates of any major. This project is intended for both UVA students and as a national template. To that end, 100% of class materials (lecture notes, animations, resource materials, student and teacher guides) are posted openly on the Internet (click here).
My newest projects on molecular electronics and organo-molecular / silicon hybrid devices. These were funded by prior DARPA MOLEapps and NSF NIRT grants, and by a current NIRT grant upon which I serve as PI.
1985 - Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, Research Division of Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill NJ
1986 - Head, Materials Science Research Department, Bell Labs
1986 - Elected to the Bohmische Physical Society (honor society of ion beam researchers)
1991 - Elected Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
1997 - John Marshall Money Chaired Professorship, UVA
2000 - Associate Director, NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)
2003 - Named to lists of most "
Highly Cited Authors in Materials Science" and most "Highly Cited Researchers" issued by the Institute of Scientific Information’s Science Citation Index: "250 preeminent individual researchers in each of 21 subject categories who have demonstrated great influence in their field as measured by citations to their work."
2003: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering: Award for Teaching Innovation
2004: University of Virginia: "All University Teaching Award"
2009: Recipient of the IEEE Undergraduate Teaching Medal "for providing opportunities to both undergraduate and pre-college
students for discovery through both laboratory projects and virtual
on the world wide web."
2011: Named as one of thirty-seven inaugural members of UVA’s University Academy of Teaching "in recognition of long-term commitment to - and remarkable skill in - helping others to teach well, and in honor of exemplary expertise"