Rogers to head Materials Research Laboratory

John A. Rogers, the Lee J. Flory-Founder Chair in Engineering at the University of Illinois, has been named director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory (MRL). As a key resource for the University, government agencies, and industry, MRL brings together world-class researchers and students in condensed matter physics, materials chemistry, and materials science in a highly collaborative research environment.

John Rogers
John Rogers

“I am very pleased that Professor Rogers has agreed to serve as MRL director,” explained Michael B. Bragg, interim dean in the College of Engineering. “As one of the lab’s key researchers, John’s work epitomizes MRL’s multi-disciplinary nature and the translation of science to products.” Catherine Murphy, a professor of chemistry at Illinois, will serve as MRL's associate director.

“It’s that culture of shared resources at MRL that makes the lab truly unique,” Rogers explained. “We’re designed to be interdisciplinary, and we are the largest supplier of scientists and engineers educated in the use of advanced instruments for the materials sciences—hundreds of new users are educated each year. Any instrument housed here—electron microscopes scan probe microscopes, surface microanalysis equipment, spectroscopic equipment—might be only one of a few like it in the world.”

User with laserMRL boasts an exceptional array of research facilities, including the Center for Microanalysis of Materials, the Micro/Nanofabrication Facility, the Laser and Spectroscopy Facility, and the Center for Computation. These research activities are supported by the Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division (DOE BES\DMS); the Department of Defense (DOD) agencies and DARPA; the National Science Foundation (NSF); other federal agencies; industry; and the University of Illinois.

“In addition to educating scientists and engineers in the broadly defined discipline of materials science, we work to transfer science and technology developed at MRL to other DOE National Laboratories and to U.S. industry via research collaborations, mutually supportive interactions, and hiring of our outstanding students and post-doctoral researchers,” Rogers said.User at computer

Renowned for his pioneering work with transient semiconductor materials and flexible, stretchable electronics, Rogers has applied his expertise to devise technology solutions across such broad fields as solar power, biointegrated electronics, sensing, thin film metrology, and fiber optics. He succeeds Jennifer A. Lewis, the Hans Thurnauer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, who served as MRL director since July 2007.