James Hannon


James HannonHannon received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994, working in the research group of Ward Plummer. In his thesis work he measured the structure and phonon spectra of Be surfaces using electron scattering. Following postdoctoral appointments at the Forschungszentrum Juelich and Sandia National Labs, he moved to Carnegie Mellon University as an assistant professor of physics. Major research projects included determining atomic-scale growth mechanisms using STM and low-energy electron microscopy (LEEM). In 2000 Hannon joined IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center, continuing research on surfaces using LEEM. Areas of interest include surface stress, spontaneous self assembly, dynamics of strained systems, alloy formation, and graphene. He now manages the Molecular Devices and Assemblies group, focused on the integration of carbon nanotube electronics with conventional CMOS. He is the author of over 50 refereed publications.


Physics is at the heart of nanotechnology. Exciting advances continue to be made that allow us to make, study, and understand materials at ever smaller length scales. These advances come at a time when many industries are faced with unprecedented technological challenges. The future of physics is bright. Industry, our colleagues, funding agencies, and most importantly, students, need to hear that message. This is the key to attracting the best students, increasing funding, and sustaining scientific progress.

I have held positions in academia, at national labs, and in industry. Each of these groups has different goals, and I have experienced the apparent disconnect between these groups first hand. But each relies on a continued commitment to fundamental materials physics. FIAP can be an important tool for fostering closer coordination between these three important APS constituencies.

I currently serve on the Executive Committee of the New York State Section of the APS. During my tenure we began an aggressive program to increase the number of undergraduate physics students attending NYSS symposia. The idea was to inspire undergraduates by direct contact with high-level physics research. Through financial grants to students, we dramatically increased undergraduate attendance at our biannual meetings. It is exciting to see undergraduates interacting with some of the leading researchers in the northeast. It’s a small example of strengthening the connection between APS constituencies. It’s my hope that similar efforts can be made on a larger scale through the FIAP.