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EXPERI-MNTL: The Alumni Newsletter of MNTL

August 2015


Welcome to the inaugural issue of InstruMNTL, the Micro + Nanotechnology Lab's e-newsletter for MNTL alumni, faculty, students, staff, and friends.  InstruMNTL is an appropriate name for our newsletter because all members of the MNTL family play an instrumental role in orchestrating our continued success.

Like a pianist perfecting a jazz solo, reaching the highest levels of accomplishment in microelectronics, nanophotonics, bionanotechnology, or M/NEMS systems requires dedicated study, wise mentorship, the best tools of the trade, and an environment that nurtures innovation. Thanks to the unique legacy of semiconductor research and stewardship at Illinois, MNTL has such an environment for training the next generation of creative master performers.

InstruMNTL isn’t the only new thing at MNTL. We’re pleased to announce:

  • A new web site.
  • A new LinkedIn group to help you connect with former colleagues, mentor current students, post employment opportunities, and stay in touch with MNTL happenings.

In January 2016 we will launch additional research and engagement efforts:

  • A new Industry Affiliates Program that enables companies to stay closely engaged in MNTL research and build long-term relationships with MNTL faculty.
  • A new MNTL Alumni Board that will provide advice on research directions and help foster closer ties with our graduates both from MNTL and its predecessor, the Electrical Engineering Research Lab (EERL).

As an ECE Illinois alumnus from EERL and MNTL, it is exciting to see the tradition of excellence continue.

Brian Cunningham, MNTL director (Illinois ECE BS 1986, MS 1987, PhD 1990)


The new Carle Illinois College of Medicine will enhance MNTL's ability to translate research into clinical practice, while MNTL research will be an important element of the college's curriculum. Read on...


Li, Cheng, and Rogers will help students develop technology and test its commercial potential. Read on...


ECE Professor Emeritus Nick Holonyak Jr. and Illinois alumni George Craford and Russ Dupuis received the National Academy of Engineering's Draper Prize in February for their contributions to LED technology. Watch the video presentation...


MNTL Assistant Professor Matthew Gilbert’s research advances the understanding of topological insulators and how they differ from conventional semiconducting materials. Read on...


ECE Assistant Professor Arend van der Zande is exploring nanomaterials to build functional molecular-scale devices. Read on...


Professors John Dallesasse and Milton Feng's patented transistor-injected quantum cascade laser (TI-QCL) may someday be used to test air and water quality, enhance semiconductor manufacturing, and improve early detection of cancer and other diseases. Read on...

What did you do on your summer vacation?

Twenty-three teachers and students experienced nanotechnology through the Research Experience for Undergraduates & Research Experience for Teachers programs hosted by the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology and MNTL. Read on...


The 2015 BioNanotechnology Summer Institute at MNTL taught 27 students from across the U.S. about cancer nanotechnology, cell mechanics, molecular biology, micro fabrication, and NanoBio devices through lectures and hands-on lab training. Read on...

Recent funding
  • Rashid Bashir, Massachusetts General Hospital, A Microfluidic Biochip to Perform Complete Blood Cell Count at Point of Care, April 2015 – April 2016, $145,000.
  • Brian Cunningham, Brendan Harley, and Mary Kraft, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging & Bioengineering, Label Free Interrogation of Heterogeneties in HSC Fate Decision Signatures, April 2015 – January 2017, $193,000.
Student achievements
  • Ruochen Lu, a first-year graduate student in Songbin Gong's group, was honored as a best poster finalist at the 18th International Conference on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems (Transducers 2015). Lu's paper presents a novel numerical approach to model the thermal nonlinearity in piezoelectric micro-resonators, which are commonly found in the transceivers of modern wireless systems.
  • Curtis Wang, a member of Milton Feng's group, recently received a highly competitive National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) fellowship.
Upcoming events
  • Engineering at Illinois Impact Day - A celebration of the college's 2015 Hall of Fame inductees and our campus research successes   |   Sept. 18   |   College of Engineering campus