Advanced materials leader Robert Hull, the Henry Burlage Jr. Professor of Engineering and head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been named the first director of the Institute’s new Center for Materials, Devices, and Integrated Systems (cMDIS). The appointment is effective October 1, 2014.

Robert Hull

Robert Hull

As cMDIS director, Hull will help lead the Institute’s strategic basic and applied research efforts across the broad spectrum of fields in engineering and the physical sciences, in leading-edge areas such as lightweight composite materials, nanostructured materials, sensors and sensor networks, power electronics, and wide bandgap semiconductors, as well as the integration of these technologies into complex systems. He will be responsible for driving the new frontiers of research and technology with emphasis on the development of large sponsored research proposals, grants, and programs, as well as forging partnerships with other universities, industry, and federal laboratories.

Additionally, Hull will have overall responsibility for the Micro- and Nanofabrication Clean Room, the Nanoscale Materials Characterization Core, and other core research facilities.

“Dr. Hull is an exceptional scholar and leader, with a deep commitment to cultivating talented faculty and students, and fostering excellence in interdisciplinary research,” said Jonathan Dordick, vice president for research and the Howard P. Isermann Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering. As Rensselaer moves closer to its bicentennial anniversary in 2024, the cMDIS will play an increasingly critical and transformative role in the Institute’s overall research enterprise. Robert brings tremendous vision and energy to this pursuit.”

Clean Room

Hull will have overall responsibility for the Micro- and Nanofabrication Clean Room, the Nanoscale Materials Characterization Core, and other core research facilities.

The cMDIS will continue and expand upon the work conducted in the long-lived and successful Center for Integrated Electronics. Building upon the strong culture of interdisciplinary research and academics at Rensselaer, the cMDIS aims to advance several important technologies, including energy harvesting, storage, and transmission/distribution; responsive and adaptive built environments; integrated biomaterial devices; nanostructured composite materials; and advanced manufacturing and robotics. The cMDIS will closely partner with other research centers at Rensselaer.

“I am enormously excited about this opportunity to help synthesize new programs in engineering and the physical sciences that will develop new devices and systems applications leveraging fundamental materials discoveries,” Hull said. “Multidisciplinary research that integrates fundamental science with engineering application is a core strength of Rensselaer.”

In academia and the private sector, Hull is known for his research into fundamental growth mechanisms of semiconductor films, the self-assembly of nanostructures, and for his work in exploring potential applications of these films and structures to future nanoelectronic devices. His recent work focuses on the development of new techniques for nanoscale assembly, fabrication, and characterization using focused ion and electron beams, with particular emphasis on epitaxial semiconductor structures and applications to nanoelectronics.

Hull has published nearly 250 journal and conference papers on these topics. He is a member of multiple editorial and advisory boards, including current service as an associate editor of Applied Physics Reviews. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Materials Research Society (MRS), and has served as MRS president and as chair of the University Materials Council.