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Viterbi Researcher Selected for TR35

Michelle Povinelli says it is possible to pattern materials smaller than the wavelength of light

August 24, 2010 —

Michelle Povinelli, a member of the faculty of the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering in the Viterbi School, has been recognized by MIT Technology Review magazine as one of the world’s top innovators under the age of 35 for her research on the optical properties of nano-structured materials. Selected from more than 300 nominees by a panel of expert judges and the editorial staff of Technology Review, the TR35 is an elite

Click on the image to view TR35 website article & multimedia presentation
group of accomplished young innovators who exemplify the spirit of innovation. Their work--spanning medicine, computing, communications, nano-technology, and more--is changing our world.

"Advances in nano-fabrication techniques make it possible to pattern materials on a scale smaller than the wavelength of light," said Povinelli, who is an assistant professor and holds the WiSE (Women in Science and Engineering) Junior Gabilan Chair.  "I want to harness this capability to make nano-photonic devices for optical communications, solar energy and materials."

 Michelle Povinelli

In her research, Povinelli uses theory and computational simulations to investigate novel optical behavior and device functionality in such systems as photonic crystals, meta-materials, and micro-resonators. She is also working on the fabrication and experimental characterization of photonic-crystal slab devices. Particular topics of interest include optically-induced forces and nano-structured solar cells.

“Each year, Technology Review selects 35 innovators under the age of 35 who we believe are transforming technology. Discovering these amazing young men and women is one of the highlights of the year for us,” said Jason Pontin, editor in chief and publisher of Technology Review. “We celebrate their success and look forward to their continued advancement of technology in their respective fields.”

Povinelli and the other TR35 winners for 2010 will be featured in the September/October issue of Technology Review and online at www.technologyreview.com/tr35/. In addition, the EmTech@MIT 2010 Conference, to be held September 21–23 at MIT, will honor the winners with a dedicated awards ceremony and in a series of “Meet the TR35” presentations.

"We were thrilled when Michelle joined our faculty three years ago.  She continues to impress with her prodigious high-quality research in optics and photonics.  Her selection to Technology Review's TR35 list of young innovators is almost a natural consequence of her talent and accomplishments.  We cannot be more proud," said Dean Yannis Yortsos.

"Professor Povinelli is a shining example of a USC innovator. In her research pursuits, she has continued to push beyond the edges of her field, questioned assumptions, and used her imagination to make leaps that will surely make an impact in years to come," said Krisztina "Z" Holly, USC Vice Provost for Innovation and Executive Director of the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation.

Additional information about past and present TR35 winners and judges is available at www.technologyreview.com/tr35/. For more information about EmTech@MIT 2010 please visit: http://www.technologyreview.com/emtech .

Technology Review, Inc., an independent media company owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the authority on the future of technology, identifying emerging technologies and analyzing their impact for leaders. Technology Review’s media properties include Technology Review magazine, the oldest technology magazine in the world (founded in 1899); the daily news website TechnologyReview.com; and events such as the annual EmTech@MIT Conference.