Integrating Soft and Hard Materials in Nanoscale Based Devices
Director General of the National Institute for Nanotechnology, Canada
Nils Petersen is the Director General of the National Institute for Nanotechnology, joining the NRC in 2004 after three years as Vice-President (Research) at the University of Western Ontario.
Dr. Petersen received his BSc Honors in Chemistry from The University of Western Ontario in 1972. He went on to receive his PhD in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1978, where he won the Herbert Newby McCoy Award for best Chemistry PhD thesis.
After positions at Cornell University and Washington University Medical School, he returned to The University of Western Ontario’s Department of Chemistry as a faculty member in 1981. He was Chair of the department from 1995 to 1999. From 1993 to 1995, he was Associate Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies; from 1999 to 2000 he was Associate Vice-President (Research); and for a twomonth period in 2000, he was Western’s Acting Vice-President (Research).
Among his distinguished awards and honours, Dr. Petersen has received the Faculty Association Alumni Award, the Edward G. Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Lieutenant Governor’s Laurel Award for Teaching, and a teaching award from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations. In 2001, he was named a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada and was honoured with a Distinguished Research Professorship from UWO’s Faculty of Science.
Dr. Petersen was also a member of the College of Reviewers for the Canada Research Chairs Program and Board Chair of SHARCNET (Shared Hierarchical Academic Research Computing Network), a network of high-performance Beowulf computer clusters in Southwestern Ontario. He also served as Chair of the Canada Foundation for Innovation Expert Committee for Science Facilities and as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Canadian Institute of Synchrotron Radiation.
Dr. Petersen’s current research focuses on intermolecular interactions in biological membranes, particularly the study of the dynamics and distribution of molecules within the membrane as a means of understanding cell-cell communication, signal transduction, adhesion and locomotion of cells. It spans a range of disciplines from Computation to Biology. Dr. Petersen will continue to participate fully in academic pursuits at the University of Alberta th rough a jointappointment as a Professor in the Department of Chemistry.
Speaking in the special symposium on Nanofabrication Technologies, Devices and Applications - NanoFab 2006.
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