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Professor Sir Michael Pepper has been appointed to the Pender Chair of Nanoelectronics at UCL (University College of London) where he will work on joint projects between the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and the London Centre for Nanotechnology. His research will focus on semiconductors, nanostructures, fundamental terahertz technologies and their applications.
Sir Michael pioneered the study of low dimensional electron gas systems and the associated quantum effects, and his career has encompassed both academic and industrial sectors. Following a period of semiconductor research at the Caswell Research Laboratory of the Plessey Company he moved to the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University, in 1973, where he remained until the end of 2008. Whilst there, he started a long collaboration with the late Sir Nevill Mott, (Nobel Laureate, 1977) using semiconductor devices to investigate fundamental physics. In 1982 he left Plessey to join the GEC Hirst Research Centre and set up joint Cavendish-GEC projects.
Sir Michael founded the Semiconductor Physics Research Group at the Cavendish in 1985, and was appointed Professor of Physics there in 1987. In 1991, he was appointed Managing Director of the newly established Toshiba Cambridge Research Centre (now known as the Cambridge Research Laboratory (CRL) of Toshiba Research Europe) and since 2007 he has been a senior adviser to the company. In 2001, he cofounded TeraView - a company formed to commercialise the terahertz research work of CRL - and was appointed Scientific Director.
Sir Michael has been associated with many of the major themes of condensed matter physics; was one of the three authors of the first paper announcing the discovery of the quantum Hall effect and with his group he developed the techniques of electrostatically modifying a 2D electron gas to form 1D and 0D systems with many associated discoveries, such as quantisation of the conductance of ballistic 1D electrons.
Sir Michael was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1983 and a Fellow of Trinity College in 1982. He has been awarded the Hughes Medal and the Royal Medal of The Royal Society and the first Mott Medal of the Institute of Physics, as well as the Guthrie (Gold) Medal and the Europhysics Prize of the European Physical Society. He received a knighthood in the 2006 New Year's Honours list for services to physics and has received honorary degrees and given named lectures including the Mountbatten Memorial Lecture of the IET and the Royal Society's Bakerian Lecture.
"I am delighted to welcome Sir Michael to UCL," says Professor Malcolm Grant, UCL President and Provost. "Sir Michael has an international reputation that speaks for itself and he will make a major contribution to our nanoelectronics programme."
Speaking of his appointment, Sir Michael said: "I'm excited by the prospect of joining such a prestigious university and the very highly regarded Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, as well as the London Centre for Nanotechnology. It is an exceptional place to be, where innovation and scientific discovery thrive."
At UCL, Sir Michael will be a member of two of its faculties: Engineering Sciences and MAPS (Mathematical and Applied Sciences). "The research led by Sir Michael will contribute to the scientific development of the faculty I have the privilege to lead," said Professor Richard Catlow, Dean of MAPS. "Our students, researchers and academic staff should all see him as a source of inspiration and as a most stimulating new colleague," added Professor Bernard Buxton, Dean of the Engineering Sciences Faculty.
About London Centre for Nanotechnology press release
The London Centre for Nanotechnology, is a UK-based, multidisciplinary research centre forming the bridge between the physical and biomedical sciences. It was conceived from the outset with a management structure allowing for a clear focus on scientific excellence, exploitation and commercialisation. It brings together two world leaders in nanotechnology, namely University College London and Imperial College London, in a unique operating model that accesses the combined skills of multiple departments, including medicine, chemistry, physics, electrical and electronic engineering, biochemical engineering, materials and earth sciences, and two leading technology transfer offices.
Founded in 1826, UCL was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to admit students regardless of race, class, religion or gender, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. UCL is the seventh-ranked university in the 2008 THES-QS World University Rankings, and the third-ranked UK university in the 2008 league table of the top 500 world universities produced by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. UCL alumni include Marie Stopes, Jonathan Dimbleby, Lord Woolf, Alexander Graham Bell, and members of the band Coldplay. UCL currently has over 12,000 undergraduate and 8,000 postgraduate students. Its annual income is over £600 million.
About the Pender Chair
The Pender Chair in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at UCL was established from funds commemorating Sir John Pender (1816-1896), a pioneer promoter of undersea cable communications who, at the time of his death, controlled companies owning 73,640 nautical miles of submarine cables. The first holder of the Chair was Sir John Ambrose Fleming, inventor of the thermionic valve and pioneer of wireless communication.
About the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
The Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at UCL was the first department of Electrical Engineering to be established in England and now comprises some 200 researchers working on topics in communications and information systems, electronic materials and devices, optical networks, photonics and sensors, systems and circuits, with turnover exceeding £11 million. It has consistently been rated among the top ten UK Departments in its subject area in the UK Government's Research Assessment Exercise.
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Dr Thierry Bontoux
London Centre for Nanotechnology
+44 (0)20 7679 0056
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