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Longtime Purdue University professor James Cooper has been named interim director of the Birck Nanotechnology Center, a Discovery Park facility he helped lead during its startup.
By Phillip Fiorini
Cooper, the Jai N. Gupta Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will succeed Timothy Sands, who was selected Feb. 11 as Purdue's new executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.
Cooper's appointment, announced Tuesday (March 2) by Alan Rebar, executive director of Discovery Park and senior associate vice president for research, is effective immediately.
Cooper and electrical and computer engineering professor Richard Schwartz served five years as Birck's first co-directors during the $58 million facility's design, construction and first year of operation. Cooper's research focuses on the physics of semiconductor devices, electron transport in semiconductors, interface effects and integrated circuits.
Sands, who has been the Mary Jo and Robert L. Kirk Director of the Birck Nanotechnology Center since 2006, was selected to succeed Randy Woodson, who will become chancellor of North Carolina State University on April 1.
The 187,000-square-foot Birck Nanotechnology Center involves more than 300 faculty, staff and graduate students from 36 schools and departments at Purdue, advancing research in nanoscale science and engineering with applications in areas such as health care, energy, computer technology and food safety.
The center, which opened to researchers in 2004, is named for Michael and Katherine (Kay) Birck of Hinsdale, Ill. The Bircks donated $30 million for the building. He is a Purdue alumnus, a member of the university's board of trustees and retired chairman of Tellabs Inc. His wife, Kay, is a Terre Haute, Ind., native.
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