Robert Celotta


Robert CelottaRobert Celotta is the current and founding director of NIST’s Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology. He received his B.S. in Physics from the City College of New York, and his Ph.D. in Physics from New York University. Following postdoctoral studies with John Hall at JILA in Boulder, Colorado, Robert joined the NIST (then NBS) staff in Gaithersburg, Maryland. During his career at NIST, he was a researcher in and leader of the Electron Physics Group, eventually being elected to be a NIST Fellow. Robert has authored over 250 publications, has given more than 350 presentations, and has been issued four patents in the fields of nanotechnology, surface and multilayer magnetism, spin polarized electron interactions, scanning tunneling microscopy, and nanostructure fabrication. He also co-edited Experimental Methods in the Physical Sciences, a series of over 20 books on experimental physics. Robert has received several awards including the American Vacuum Society’s Gaede-Langmuir Prize, New York University’s Alumni Achievement Award, the Federal Laboratory Consortium’s Excellence in Technology Transfer Award, two IR-100 Awards, NIST’s Edward Uhler Condon Award, and NIST’s William P. Slichter Award for strengthening ties between NIST and industry. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Vacuum Society, and the Washington Academy of Sciences. Having spent most of his career as an experimentalist working in surface science and nanotechnology, he is now occupied with directing a national user facility focused on providing access to the tools and measurement capabilities required to facilitate the development of nanotechnology from discovery to production.


The US science and technology communities are facing a number of significant challenges today. More is expected of them as the US works to maintain a leadership position within the world economy. Further, the way scientific discoveries are made, and in particular, the path to turning them into successful technologies has been changing markedly. I bring a slightly different, and hopefully helpful, perspective to the leadership of the FIAP, one informed by my experience a NIST, a national laboratory, but in particular, a national laboratory that has always had a close and unique connection to the nation’s industries. In addition to working to highlight the creative and important contributions of those working in areas of applied physics, particularly to younger scientists to inform their career choice, I would also be interested in exploring and showcasing new promising, or older accomplished, ways that industrial, academic and governmental organizations can work together.