Release Date: September 13, 2016
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Quanxi Jia, PhD, a world-renowned scholar and University at Buffalo alumnus, has rejoined his alma mater to help build the university’s materials science programs.
Jia, who returns to UB after a decorated 23-year career at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, has been named the Empire Innovation Professor and National Grid Professor of Materials Research in the university’s Department of Materials Design and Innovation (MDI). He also will serve as scientific director at UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI).
Jia’s appointment was announced by Liesl Folks, PhD, dean of UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Robin Schulze, PhD, dean of UB’s College of Arts and Sciences; Krishna Rajan, ScD, Erich Bloch Endowed Chair of MDI; and Mark T. Swihart, PhD, executive director at CMI.
“Materials science is a critical element to many industries, ranging from aerospace and medical devices to renewable energy and consumer electronics. We are delighted that Quanxi Jia, an internationally-recognized expert with an exemplary record of research and service, has joined UB in this strategically important role. He will boost UB’s position as a premier public research university and enhance important regional and national initiatives that will help Buffalo grow as a hub for advanced manufacturing,” Folks, Schulze, Rajan and Swihart said in a joint statement.
A collaboration between the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the College of Arts of Sciences, MDI builds upon UB’s existing faculty expertise in computer science, physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, environmental engineering, electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, and chemical and biological engineering.
The department trains future materials scientists and engineers, with an emphasis on the use of advanced computational tools, in conjunction with bench science, to reduce the cost and time it takes to discover and commercialize new materials that are critical to the economic security of the region, nation and world.
CMI is one of two New York State Centers of Excellence at UB. The center advocates for the university’s technology-based economic development programs and cultivates industry collaboration, while further growing UB’s expertise and reputation in the fast-moving field of materials informatics, including discovery and commercialization of innovative new materials.
The goals of MDI and CMI match those of the White House’s Materials Genome Initiative and its Big Data Research and Development Initiative, and state initiatives – such as the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council – that work to boost economic development in Buffalo and beyond.
Prior to joining UB, Jia was the director of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, a U.S. Department of Energy nanoscale science research center operated jointly by Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.
His research areas include the synthesis and study of structure-property relationships of nanostructured materials, multifunctional materials, and thin films; the development of innovative deposition techniques for the growth of electronic materials; and the development and fabrication of novel solid-state microelectronic and electro-optic devices.
Jia received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Xian Jiaotong University, China, and a PhD in the same field from UB in 1991.
He has authored or co-authored more than 450 peer-reviewed journal articles, delivered more than 100 invited lectures, and holds 48 U.S. patents. He serves as the co-editor-in-chief of Materials Research Letters, and sits on the editorial board of several academic and professional journals.
Among his many awards and honors are two prestigious R&D 100 awards, the 2005 Asian-American Engineer of the Year Award, and the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer Awards for Excellence in Technology Transfer. He is an elected Fellow of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Materials Research Society, American Physical Society, American Ceramic Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science.