Thirumalai Venky Venkatesan is the director of the Nano Institute at NUS (NUSNNI) and is also a provost chair professor in ECE, physics, MSE and NGS Departments. He is also the founder, chairman and chief technical advisor to Neocera, a US company specializing in pulsed laser deposition systems and magnetic imaging systems for the semiconductor industry. Prior to this, he spent 17 years at Bell labs and Bellcore in various capacities and another 17 years at University of Maryland as professor of ECE and physics at the Superconductivity Center. The researchers under him have been responsible for over 17 startups. While at Bellcore, he was also the founding director of the Rutgers University Center for Surface Modification.
He is the inventor of the pulsed laser deposition process and besides exploiting this technology for advancing oxide research with over 740 publications and 30 patents his company is the leading global vendor for this technology. His research interest spanned superconductivity, ferroelectricity, atomically structured oxide interfaces, novel oxide magnetism, oxide materials for energy and bio/inorganic interfaces.
He has been an active participant in MRS activities from the very onset of the Society and has organized several MRS symposia as well as at ICMAT (sister MRS organization in Singapore). In 2016, he was one of the Meeting Chairs of the MRS Fall Meeting. His company has been a consistent supporter of MRS over the last three decades.
He is a Fellow of APS, winner of the George E Pake award of APS (2012), Bellcore Award of Excellence, Academician, Asia-Pacific Academy of Materials, President's Gold Medal, Institute of Physics (Singapore), nominated to the world economic forum-committee for Future Advanced Materials and outstanding alumnus award from two IITs in India.
MRS is clearly the largest and most active global materials society today. Over the years the Society has made significant progress in many areas such as inclusiveness, promoting entrepreneurship and also being attentive to the latest developments in the materials field. I cannot identify a specific area that has not been addressed by the prior MRS office bearers and that speaks volume for the openness of MRS and the opportunity for newcomers to make an impact on this organization. However, because of my special background, having worked for a company like Bell, CEO of my own startup, an academic (Rutgers, Maryland and NUS) and a global professional, I feel that I can contribute to enhancing MRS’s reach in the following areas:
- Enhancing global participation- Asia in particular where the research activities are expanding exponentially
- Coming up with innovative ways to enhance entrepreneurship among MRS members and also participation of startups in MRS activities
- Enhancing the participation of industry in MRS activities
- Help with sister organizations in the less developed Asian countries