Liesl Folks

Department of Electrical Engineering, Professor, and Dean of SEAS

Specialty/Research Focus: Materials design and innovation, technology transfer cycle optimization, nanostructured magnetic materials and spin-electronic devices, data storage, random access memories, access & participation in STEM.

Contact Information

208 Davis Hall

Buffalo, NY 14260

Phone: (716) 645-2771


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An internationally recognized expert in nanotechnology and magnetism, Liesl Folks holds 14 U.S. patents and is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed papers that have attracted more than 10,000 citations. Prior to arriving at UB in 2012, Folks worked for more than nine years at HGST, a hard disk drive company in San Jose, Calif. Before that, she worked at IBM Almaden Research Center, also in San Jose, for six years.

She was president of the IEEE’s Magnetics Society in 2013-2014 and served in 2012 on the congressionally mandated panel for the Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, facilitated by the National Academy of Sciences.  Folks is also the 2013 recipient of the AVS Excellence in Leadership Award, a national award recognizing her mentorship of science and engineering students.

A native of Australia, Folks earned a bachelor of science degree and a doctor of philosophy, both in physics, from the University of Western Australia in Perth, where she subsequently worked as a research fellow.  She also holds an MBA from Cornell University.