School of Engineering
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Postdoctoral Scholar, Materials Science and Engineering
BioApplied physicist with a PhD in bioelectronics. Skills in microfabrication with organic materials and neural interfaces for electrical recording and stimulation. Currently interested in biosensors.
Senior Associate Vice Provost for Research Platforms/Shared Facilities, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy and Associate Professor, by courtesy, of Radiology
BioJennifer Dionne is the Senior Associate Vice Provost of Research Platforms/Shared Facilities and an Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and of Radiology (by courtesy) at Stanford. Jen received her Ph.D. in Applied Physics at the California Institute of Technology, advised by Harry Atwater, and B.S. degrees in Physics and Systems & Electrical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to joining Stanford, she served as a postdoctoral researcher in Chemistry at Berkeley, advised by Paul Alivisatos. Jen's research develops nanophotonic methods to observe and control chemical and biological processes as they unfold with nanometer scale resolution, emphasizing critical challenges in global health and sustainability. Her work has been recognized with the Alan T. Waterman Award (2019), an NIH Director's New Innovator Award (2019), a Moore Inventor Fellowship (2017), the Materials Research Society Young Investigator Award (2017), Adolph Lomb Medal (2016), Sloan Foundation Fellowship (2015), and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2014), and was featured on Oprah’s list of “50 Things that will make you say ‘Wow!'"
Ph.D. Student in Materials Science and Engineering, admitted Autumn 2021
BioVarun Dolia is a first-year Ph.D. student in Materials Science and Engineering. He is fascinated (mostly) by Materials Chemistry and Nanomaterials! He is excited about learning and understanding more about them, employing experimental and computational techniques in synergy. While doing so, he aspires to pioneer momentous innovations in the fields of energy and environmental sustainability. During leisure time, he prefers reading non-fictions, learning to play musical instruments, or engage himself in sports (biking, hiking, or table tennis).
Provost, James and Anna Marie Spilker Professor and Professor in the School of Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Professor of Physics
BioPersis Drell, Provost
Drell is a physicist who has served on the Stanford faculty since 2002. She is the James and Anna Marie Spilker Professor in the School of Engineering, a professor of materials science and engineering, and a professor of physics. She is the former dean of the Stanford School of Engineering and the former director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford.
Drell received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from Wellesley College in 1977, followed by a PhD in atomic physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1983. She then switched to high-energy experimental physics and worked as a postdoctoral scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She joined the physics faculty at Cornell University in 1988.
In 2002, Drell joined the Stanford faculty as a professor and director of research at SLAC. In her early years at SLAC, she worked on the construction of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. In 2005, she became SLAC’s deputy director and was named director two years later. She led the 1,600-employee SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory until 2012. Drell is credited with helping broaden the focus of the laboratory, increasing collaborations between SLAC and the main Stanford campus, and overseeing transformational projects.
During Drell’s tenure as director, SLAC transitioned from being a laboratory dedicated primarily to research in high-energy physics to one that is now seen as a leader in a number of scientific disciplines. In 2010, the laboratory began operations of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). LCLS is the world’s most powerful X-ray free electron laser, which is revolutionizing study of the atomic and molecular world. LCLS is used to conduct scientific research and drive applications in energy and environmental sciences, drug development, and materials engineering.
After serving as the director of SLAC, Drell returned to the Stanford faculty, focusing her research on technology development for free electron lasers and particle astrophysics. Drell was named the dean of the Stanford School of Engineering in 2014.
As dean of the School of Engineering, Drell catalyzed a collaborative school-wide process, known as the SoE-Future process, to explore the realms of possibility for the future of the School of Engineering and engineering education and research. The process engaged a broad group of stakeholders to ask in what areas the School of Engineering could make significant world-changing impact, and how the school should be configured to address the major opportunities and challenges of the future.
The process resulted in a set of 10 broad aspirational questions to inspire thought on the school’s potential impact in the next 20 years. The process also resulted in a series of actionable recommendations across three areas – research, education, and culture. Drell’s approach to leading change emphasized the importance of creating conditions to optimize the probability of success.
As dean, Drell placed an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. She focused on increasing the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in engineering. She also sought to ensure a welcoming and inclusive environment for students of all backgrounds in the school.
In addition to her administrative responsibilities, Drell teaches a winter-quarter companion course to introductory physics each year for undergraduate students who had limited exposure to the subject in high school.
Drell is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a fellow of the American Physical Society. She has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award.
Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and of Photon Science
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy group develops new optical and analytical tools to reveal how imperfections deep inside materials instigate the dynamics that transform them. Spanning length- and time-scales from bonds breaking at single atoms through fracture or fatigue in macroscopic materials, these defect dynamics define complex high-dimensional problems that are difficult to reconcile at intermediate scales in order to predict or understand a material's behavior. To address this challenge, my group develops new types of time-resolved experiments aimed at the elusive "mesoscale" to directly visualize how large populations of subsurface defects drive them. With these new approaches, we tackle fundamental studies of how temperature drives materials, and more applied problems that connect our new insights to structural materials, manufacturing, energy science, and beyond.