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Debdeep Jena joins ECE faculty as Full Professor

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Electronic devices have become ubiquitous—they are in our kitchens, bathrooms, cars, and our clothes. As these devices have shrunk to near their ultimate size and speed limits, many are wondering if we are reaching an end to the scaling described by Moore’s Law. Professor Debdeep Jena believes this looming technological wall is really not a wall at all. It is an opportunity.

Jena, who will soon join the faculties of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Materials Science at Cornell, thinks now is the perfect moment to develop new nanoelectric materials and devices. “I am excited to explore the physics of new classes of materials for unconventional electronic and photonic device applications,” says Jena. “I chose to move to Cornell ECE to work with excellent colleagues who share some of my dreams for the future. My joint appointment with MSE is another strong pull—along with the excellent Physics and Applied Physics programs at Cornell. My research work increasingly needs expertise in these areas and strong experimental facilities.”

Jena’s research and teaching interests are in the material growth and device applications of quantum semiconductor heterostructures, investigation of charge transport physics in nanostructured semiconducting materials, and their device applications. The work Jena is doing has applications in the fields of computation (low-power electronics), communications (high-speed RF), energy (power electronics), and photonics (visible and deep-UV).

Jena received his undergraduate B.Tech. degree in electrical engineering, (with a minor in physics), from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in 1998. From there he went on to the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he earned a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering in 2003. He then joined the electrical engineering faculty at the University of Notre Dame, where he has taught for eleven years. In 2007, Jena won an NSF CAREER award. In 2010, he won the Joyce Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Yeaching. In 2012, he was awarded the ISCS Young Scientist Award and the IBM Faculty Award, and in 2014, he won the MBE Young Investigator Award.

“While I am going to miss my colleagues at Notre Dame very much,” says Jena, “I am excited to forge new research directions with my new colleagues. I am also looking forward to teaching and doing research with exceptional undergraduate and graduate students.” Jena grew up in Asansol, which he describes as “a mid-size town in the steel/coal industrial belt in the state of West Bengal, India. I have heard so much about the natural beauty of Ithaca—it’s time to dive in and find out how true it is.”

In his free time, Jena says he likes “to hang out and try to relearn to be a child with my son. He is learning more everyday than I do in a year!” Jena joins the faculty of Cornell Engineering in January 2015.

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