July 11, 2006

Tien named newest Ohio Eminent Scholar by Board of Regents

Research in condensed physics will advance MEMS technology

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Case Western Reserve University announces the appointment of the state's newest Ohio Eminent Scholar in Condensed Matter Physics—Norman Tien, who is also Case's Nord Professor of Engineering and chair of the department of electrical engineering and computer science.

While Tien's Case faculty position is in engineering, the Ohio Eminent Scholar appointment is in the department of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences at Case.

"It is a great honor, and I am excited to be joining this select and wonderful group of scholars in Ohio," said Tien. "This appointment will enable me to perform cutting-edge research in nanotechnology and nanosciences and champion efforts to further enhance these areas not just at Case but for Ohio."

The Ohio Eminent Scholars Program Awards was established by the Board of Regents as an investment in growing Ohio's education resources and fostering academic programs that address significant issues in education. The program is part of Governor Bob Taft's $1.6 billion Third Frontier job creation program to expand Ohio's high-tech research capabilities.

"The Ohio Eminent Scholars Program is a crucial piece of the puzzle needed to place Ohio at the forefront of the Knowledge Economy," said Garrison Walters, interim chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents. "Senior scholars, such as Professor Tien, drive Ohio's technology-based economic development by attracting federal and industrial funding, as well as academically talented students and postdoctoral associates. And, of course, Professor Tien's research specialization in nanotechnology is a major focus of the state's Third Frontier Project."

"Today, we are a technology driven society where the technology is moving at an incredible pace," Tien said. "A strong visible research program such as enabled by the Ohio Eminent Scholar enhances education by exposing and bringing to students the latest and best cutting-edge technology."

Tien also said he will direct his efforts at building on an already strong program at Case in the nanosciences and nanotechnology. In the OES position, he plans to help bridge and encourage more links between arts and sciences and engineering: "Nanosciences and nanotechnology are disciplines that crossover with many fields."

"In order to investigate issues at the very, very small nanoscale dimensions, one often needs small structures, tools or instruments," he said.

One of his major goals, he explained, will be to apply microsystems technology to investigations and developments of the nanoscale world.

He will work with his department in engineering but also will collaborate with colleagues in the department of physics.

Tien joined the Case faculty, after serving as chair of the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California at Davis. While there, he had a joint appointment with the University of California at Berkeley was co-director of the Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center, a place where he was a postdoctoral research engineer (1993-1996) after earning his doctorate from the University of California, San Diego. He also has had faculty appointments from 1996-2002 at Cornell University.

In addition to Tien, another Ohio Eminent Scholar at Case is Thomas A Zawodzinski Jr., who came to Ohio after serving as the lead fuel cell researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and now on the faculty of the Case School of Engineering. In addition, Case was awarded, and is recruiting, a scholar to join the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, a Wright Center of Innovation.

For more information: Susan Griffith 216-368-1004.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, July 11, 2006 10:02 AM | News Topics: Awards, College of Arts and Sciences, HeadlinesMain, Physics, Science

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