Smart Materials

Pantano Steps Down After 16 Years at MRI Helm

The founding director of the Materials Research Institute, Carlo Pantano, has returned to full-time research and teaching after 16 years of leadership in interdisciplinary materials research at Penn State. Carlo is a distinguished professor of materials science and engineering, and an internationally recognized expert in glass research with a special interest in the nature of glass surfaces. As of September 1, 2014, Clive Randall, professor of materials science and engineering and long-time director of the Center for Dielectric Studies and current co-director of the Center for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics, has stepped in as MRI’s interim director.

During Carlo’s tenure, MRI grew from an institute that existed largely on paper to one that now provides services and expertise to hundreds of companies and hands-on training to thousands of students. MRI faculty researchers now number well over 200 members across multiple science and engineering disciplines. The shared user facilities for nanofabrication and materials characterization are now easily accessible to all researchers in a new state-of-the-art research building on central campus that will assure Penn State’s leadership in materials research into the 21st century.

"Material research at Penn State has had many great leaders over the years, and Carlo has been this generation’s leader — showing a vision to blend the interdisciplinarity of the field in new ways, especially in regard to the crossover into life sciences. He also put into place the general user facility model for MRI that is now the model for many other top tier universities. He also made major contributions in strategic cluster hires to underpin the faculty in the material field at Penn State. Finally, through tireless efforts working with multiple people at the university, he championed the construction of the Millennium Science Complex – a building with laboratories and core facilities that impress scientists from all over the world. Carlo, thank you for your leadership – the materials community at Penn State and beyond is highly indebted to your vision, and we will all benefit from your work in years to come."

Clive A. Randall
Professor of Materials Sciences and Engineering
and Interim Director of the Materials Research Institute

Fall 2014