Science & Tech

Evelyn Hu named professor of applied physics, electrical engineering in SEAS

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Evelyn L. Hu, a pioneer in the fabrication of nanoscale electronic and photonic devices, has been named Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering in Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), effective Jan. 1, 2009.

Hu, 61, is currently professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Uni-versity of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), a position she has held since 1984. She has also served since 2000 as scientific co-director of the California Nanosystems Institute, a joint initiative at UCSB and the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Given the future growth and evolution of SEAS and the University’s increased commitment to spurring multidisciplinary research, we are extremely fortunate to have someone of the caliber of Evelyn Hu on board,” says Frans Spaepen, interim dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and John C. and Helen F. Franklin Professor of Applied Physics. “She is both a first-rate materials physicist and a skilled administrative leader, having managed a cross-university nanotechnology initiative and played a critical role in the strengthening of UCSB’s multidisciplinary engineering programs.”

Hu has made major contributions to nanotechnology by designing and creating complex nanostructures. Her work has focused on nanoscale devices made from compound semiconductors and on novel devices made by integrating various materials, both organic and inorganic. She has also created nanophotonic structures that might someday facilitate quantum computing.

Hu’s seminal work in nanofabrication has included high-resolution patterning and high-resolution etching of circuits onto nanoscale materials. She has also developed biological approaches to nanotechnology, using biological assembly pathways to control the composi-tion and structure of novel devices.

Some of her research ideas led to her co-founding of Cambridge, Mass.-based Cam-brios Technology, a start-up that is developing new, cost-effective materials of importance for electronic device applications.
Hu received her B.A. from Barnard College in 1969 and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Co-lumbia University in 1971 and 1975, respectively. She was employed at AT&T’s Bell Labo-ratories from 1975 to 1984, when she joined UCSB as a full professor. She served UCSB’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as vice chair from 1989 to 1992 and as chair from 1992 to 1994.

At UCSB, she has led the Institute for Quantum Engineering, Science and Technol-ogy, the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Quantized Electronic Structures and Center for Robotic Systems in Microelectronics, and the UCSB component of the National Science Foundation’s National Nanofabrication Users Network.

Hu is currently a reviewing editor at the journal Science. Her honors include election as a fellow of the IEEE, formerly the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (1994), the American Physical Society (1995), and the American Association for the Ad-vancement of Science (1998). She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2002 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 2008.