David H. Auston Appointed to UCSB Energy Frontier Research Center Post
Former president of Kavli Foundation brings broad
experience and expertise to Center for Energy Efficient Materials
Santa Barbara, California, November 4, 2009—David H. Auston has been appointed Associate Director of the Center for Energy Efficient Materials (CEEM) at UC Santa Barbara. As associate director, Auston will be responsible for the center’s strategic plan, for managing the center’s research activities and programs, and for interfacing with the Department of Energy.
“We’re extremely gratified to have David join us,” commented John Bowers, Director both of CEEM and of UCSB’s Institute for Energy Efficiency. “He brings to the center deep experience and knowledge both in the science on which we’re focused and in institutional administration. He is a major asset for the center.”
Dr. Auston’s career spans a wide range of experience in industry and academia. He joined the scientific staff of AT&T’s Bell Laboratories (now Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs) in Murray Hill, New Jersey in 1969, where he conducted research on nonlinear optics, lasers and solid-state physics. In 1982 he became a department head in the Physics Research Division, with responsibility for a wide range of research topics related to ultrafast dynamical phenomena, including, lasers, nonlinear optics, optoelectronics, nanotechnology, and solid-state materials.
In 1987, he moved to Columbia University as Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, serving later as Chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering and as Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Morris A. Shapiro Professor of Engineering. He moved to Rice University in Houston in 1994 as Provost and Herman Brown Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In 1999 he became president of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland where he was also a tenured member of the faculty of the Departments of Physics and Electrical Engineering & Computer Science.
Most recently, he served as the first president (2002-2009) of the Kavli Foundation, a new foundation dedicated to supporting basic scientific research through an international program of research institutes, prizes, symposia, and endowed professorships in the fields on astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience, and theoretical physics.
Auston’s most significant contributions to research have been in the field of picosecond and femtosecond optics and their applications to nonlinear optics and solid-state materials. He helped establish the field of ultrafast optoelectronics, which uses picosecond and femtosecond lasers to measure, with very high time precision, the dynamical electronic properties of materials.
A native of Toronto, Ontario, Auston earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering physics and his master’s in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto. He was awarded his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley In 1969. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1987.
He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has also been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. Dr. Auston is the recipient of the R.W. Wood prize of the Optical Society of America and the Quantum Electronics and the Morris E. Leeds Awards of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He has served on numerous committees of the National Research Council and other professional and learned societies.
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About the Center for Energy Efficient Materials
The Center for Energy Efficient Materials (CEEM) at UC Santa Barbara is an Energy Frontier Research Center, established under the aegis of UCSB’s Institute for Energy Efficiency and funded by the Department of Energy. The center’s research is focused on materials in three key application areas: photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, and solid state-lighting. CEEM is one of 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers across the nation. CEEM has been awarded $19 million for five years of operations.
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About the Institute for Energy Efficiency
The Institute for Energy Efficiency at UC Santa Barbara is a research institute dedicated to developing technological solutions that will forever change energy production, energy utilization, and energy management. The Institute comprises six Solutions Groups, each focused on an area with high potential impact on critical energy issues: Lighting, Production & Storage, Buildings, Computing, Electronics & Photonics, and Policy and Economics.
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About the College of Engineering at UC Santa Barbara
The College of Engineering at UC Santa Barbara is a global leader in bioengineering, chemical and computational engineering, materials science, nanotechnology and physics. UCSB boasts five Nobel Laureates (four in sciences and engineering) and one winner of the prestigious international Millennium Technology Prize. Our students, professors and staff thrive in a uniquely-successful interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial culture. Our professors’ research is among the most cited by their peers, evidence of the significance and relevance of their work.
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