Ajayan selected as 2013 Taylor Lecturer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The 2013 Nelson W. Taylor Lecture in Materials will begin at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 23, in the HUB-Robeson Center Auditorium. This year’s Taylor Lecturer is P.M. Ajayan, Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor of Engineering at Rice University. His presentation titled “Putting Nanostructures in Place” will begin at 11 a.m.

Three Penn State faculty members will precede Ajayan. They include Nitin Samarth, George A. and Margaret M. Downsbrough Department Head and Professor of Physics, 8:40 a.m. on “Topological Insulator Heterostructures: Novel Routes to 2D Spintronics” Joshua Robinson, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, 9:25 a.m. on “The Wonder of Epitaxial Graphene” and Mauricio Terrones, professor of physics and materials science and engineering, 10:10 a.m. on “Building New Materials Layer by Layer: Exciting Properties & Applications."

Ajayan earned his bachelor of technology in metallurgical engineering from Banaras Hindu University in 1985 and doctorate in materials science and engineering from Northwestern University in 1989. After three years of post-doctoral experience at NEC Corp. in Japan, he spent two years as a research scientist at the Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, Orsay in France and nearly a year and a half as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institut fur Metallforschung, Stuttgart, Germany. In 1997, he joined the materials science and engineering faculty at Rensselaer as an assistant professor and was the Henri Burlage Chair Professor in Engineering until 2007. He joined the mechanical engineering and materials science department of Rice University, as the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering in July 2007.

His research interests include synthesis and structure-property relations of nanostructures and materials science, and applications of nanomaterials. He is one of the pioneers in nanotechnology and specifically in the field of carbon nanotubes he was involved in the early work on the topic along with the NEC group. He has published one book and 450 journal papers, many in high impact journals, with more than 33,000 citations and an h-index of 90. He has several patents and inventions to his credit. He has given more than 300 invited talks including several keynote and plenary lectures in more than 20 countries. He is a world leader in the field of nanomaterials and their applications.

Ajayan has received several awards including the Distinguished Career Award for Alumni of the Department of Materials Science at Northwestern University (alma mater - graduate), Distinguished Alumni Award from Banaras Hindu University (alma mater – undergraduate) Senior Humboldt Prize, 2006 MRS medal, AAAS fellow, Scientific American 50 recognition in 2006, RPI senior research award (2003), the Burton metal from the Microscopic Society of America (1997) and the Hadfield medal for the outstanding metallurgist in India (1985). He also holds two Guinness World Records, one for creating the smallest brush and the other for creating the darkest material. He is on the advisory editorial board of several materials science and nanotechnology journals and on the boards of several nanotech companies.

The Nelson W. Taylor Lecture Series in Materials Science and Engineering honors the memory of Professor Nelson W. Taylor (1869-1965) who was head of Penn State's Department of Ceramics from 1933-1943. During his tenure as department head, Taylor refined the ceramics undergraduate curriculum, strengthened the graduate program, expanded ties with industry and was able to attract important scientists to the faculty. He is recognized as the individual most responsible for establishing the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences as a major center for ceramics research. The Nelson W. Taylor Lecture Series was established in 1969, and has consistently attracted scientists of international prominence.

For more information, visit 2013 Nelson W. Taylor Lecture in Materials.

Last Updated April 19, 2013