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Dr. Robert Magnusson named Texas Instruments Distinguished University Chair in Nanoelectronics

Former professor, department chairman returns to lead nanotechnology research efforts at UT-Arlington

Sep 26, 2008

ARLINGTON (September 26, 2008) - Dr. Robert Magnusson has been appointed to the Texas Instruments Distinguished University Chair in Nanoelectronics, a $5 million endowed chair for The University of Texas at Arlington.

A $1 million gift from Texas Instruments is being coupled with $1 million from UT Arlington to make up the $2 million permanent endowment for the chair. Additional funding of $2.5 million is provided by the state's Emerging Technology Fund along with $500,000 from the UT System STARS Program to make up the whole $5 million.

Dr. Magnusson taught at UT Arlington from 1984-98. He served as chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering here from 1998-2001. He also is chief technology officer for Resonant Sensors Inc.

"We are so pleased that Dr. Magnusson has returned to Maverick country," UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo said. "Texas Instruments - always an insightful player in future technology - has seen how valuable Dr. Magnusson's research is. And they have backed up that keen perception on staying ahead of the curve with a huge contribution to this endowed chair. We look forward to future collaborations with Texas Instruments."

"TI's grant makes a strong statement - we believe in the exciting future of nanoelectronics and in the solid research capabilities of UTA," said Philip J. Ritter, TI senior vice president of public affairs. "Research strength among our local universities is critical to the future success of our company and our region, and we are pleased to contribute to the funding of this chair."

Dr. Magnusson has developed a new class of nanostructured photonic devices which have applications in lasers, sensors, solar cells and display technology. Near-term projects include commercialization of new biosensor platforms for drug discovery and medical diagnostics.

The technology could make drug discovery happen in real time instead of waiting hours, days or weeks for results.

"We're looking forward to bringing more of these devices and processes to market," said Magnusson, who already has obtained dozens of patents on related technology. "We believe that our technology will help revolutionize the medical device and drug discovery industries."

"Nanoelectronics innovations will help solve some of the world's most pressing problems such as health care, energy efficiency and safety," TI Senior Fellow Dr. Robert R. Doering said. "Dr. Magnusson's ground-breaking research will develop next-generation solutions where there are issues in medicine today, reducing the time it takes to bring new drugs to market or to determine medical diagnoses."

Arjuna Arjun Sanga, associate vice chancellor for Technology Transfer at The University of Texas System, said the researchers who were drawn to UT System institutions are leaders who not only have with great research track records but also understand commercialization and what it takes to create companies.

"The program has done exactly what we envisioned," Sanga said. "We set out to bring the best people to Texas and they've come. We are tremendously grateful to Texas Instruments in showing outstanding leadership in participating in this visionary program."

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