Prof. Venkatesan has been a Physicist and manager for 17 years with Bell Labs and Bellcore and in the last 17 years has been with the Center for Superconductivity Research at University of Maryland, College Park. He founded the Surface Center at Rutgers University where he was a Professor for about five years (85-90). Currently he is leading an effort in Oxide Electronics at UMD and starting 2008 will be directing a Center of Excellence in Nano-structured Materials, devices and systems at the National University of Singapore. He pioneered the Pulsed Laser deposition process and was the first to elucidate the intricacies of the process to make this a reproducible laboratory technique for the growth of high quality multi-component oxide thin films. He is an ISI highly cited Physicist (ranked 66) has over 450 papers and 27 patents in the area of oxides involving superconductors, magnetic and optical materials. He is a Fellow of the American Physical society, World Innovation Forum, winner of the Bellcore award of excellence and the UMD graduate Board award. He was a member of the Physics Policy Committee and is the founding member of the International Oxide Electronics Workshop. In 1989 he founded Neocera, a company specializing in pulsed laser and electron deposition equipments and also commercialized the HTS SQUID based magnetic microscope MAGMA for semiconductor failure analysis used by virtually all leading semiconductor manufacturers in the world today. A technology based on the scanning microwave near field microscope for silicon low K metrology was commercialized and sold to Solid State Measurements (SSM). He has helped many of his students and post docs in starting companies and 8 of them have started small companies or are holding executive positions in entrepreneurial ventures. He has raised venture capital money over several rounds and has been on the advisory board of the New Market Venture fund of UMD Dingman Center, the UMD incubator and has been involved in promoting entrepreneurship among young researchers. He is a member of the Washington TIE chapter and the greater Washington Indian CXO Forum.
FIAP has traditionally fostered better relationship between the world of Physics and the industry. I would like in addition, to stress entrepreneurship in my tenure at FIAP. The enrollment of students in a field is correlated with the ability of the student to make a decent living out of the education and the degree finally obtained. Most Physics students enter the field with the view of becoming a faculty or an industrial or National Labs researcher and in some rare cases a teacher. We must some how change this limited view. In today’s research the link between Physics and technology is ever greater such that opportunities for business startups lurk in every corner and it is a matter of a young person being mentally prepared to take advantage of such opportunities. My firm belief is that out of the many young researchers in the field of Physics close to 10-20% have the skills to become entrepreneurs. Lack of know how prevents many of them from choosing this option. I will use the FIAP as a platform to promote entrepreneurship among our graduate and post-doctoral researchers so that we make job creators out of these bright individuals vs. job seekers. I would like to bring out an entrepreneurial guide for initiating people into thinking about striking out on their own, arrange for Physicist turned entrepreneurs to give talks at the APS meetings and other popular forums and also help provide linkages (web based) to students to various entrepreneurial resources that are already there that they can tap into.