Birck Nanotechnology Center

The BNC Staff


John Weaver
Facility Manager
Phone: 494-5494

John has responsibility for the overall operation of the facility and the equipment that resides in the facility. His principal goal is to enable research and innovation in the BNC, using interactive development of policies and procedures, innovative approaches to processing, and through maximizing the performance and capabilities of the equipment used for research.

John has a B.S. in Chemistry from Adrian College, and 35 years of industrial experience in the design, construction, and operation of cleanrooms and other clean facilities. Beginning his career with RCA Corporation, he has worked for Hughes Aircraft Company and Delphi Electronics and Safety. He has been at Purdue since 2000 on assignment from Delphi and since 2006 as a Purdue employee.


Mark Voorhis
Building Manager
Phone: 494-3036

Mark has responsibility for the overall operation of the building and its support systems. This includes everything from the environmental control within the facility to monitoring critical building operations. He also works very closely with the PUPF maintenance organization in overseeing both planned maintenance and repair activities. Mark also is coordinating the move and installation of equipment in the facility. Mark’s principal goal is to make the operation of the facility transparent to the researchers, enabling them to achieve preeminence in their results.

Mark has an A.S. in EET from Purdue, and 23 years of industrial experience in the construction, operation and maintenance of cleanroom facilities. Mark has managed semiconductor process equipment and facility operations in Round Rock, Texas, and Kokomo, Indiana, facilities of DuPont Photomask, Inc. He joined Purdue in 2004.


Ronald K. Reger
Process and Equipment Owner
Phone: 494-6667

Ron has overall responsibility for the Process and Equipment Engineering group at the Birck Nanotechnology Center. His principal goal is to ensure that leading edge, state-of-the-art processes and technologies are characterized and available to the researchers within the facility.

Ron has a BS in Physics and Math from Ball State University, and an MS in Physics from Purdue University. He has 30 years of industrial experience at Delphi Electronics and Safety that includes managing wafer fab design & construction, and semiconductor process development. Ron also has held engineering leadership positions in advanced engineering and automotive product design and development. He joined Purdue in 2008.


Stephen Jurss
Safety Manager
Phone: 496-6337

Stephen has responsibility for all aspects of safety of the facility. This responsibility includes process gas system surveillance, biological safety, chemical handling safety, and research process oversight. Given the diverse nature of the areas of research, his goal is to implement new and novel approaches related to laboratory safety to accommodate research in an efficient and safe manner.

Stephen has a B.S. in Health Science, specifically in the field of Industrial Hygiene and 23 years of environmental, health, and safety experience. He is currently board certified in both Industrial Hygiene and Safety. Stephen began his career as an OSHA compliance officer with the Indiana Department of Labor, moving to Purdue’s Office of Radiological and Environmental Management (REM) for 20 years. He has been involved with the Birck Nanotechnology Center since its conceptual stages, first on assignment from REM and currently as a member of the BNC staff.


John Coy
Process and Equipment Owner/Epitaxy, Coral
Phone: 494-3480

John Coy, Process and Equipment Owner Training, Growth Systems, and AFMs John has overall responsibility for epitaxial growth in the BNC, including the Epigress and Aixtron MOCVD systems. He also works closely with the safety manager on emergency response protocols. His primary goal is to enable high quality crystal growth and characterization in the BNC.

John has a B.S. in Applied Physics from Purdue University. He has 12 years of research experience, working with Prof. David Nolte in physics and currently working with Prof. Mike Capano on silicon carbide research, as well as 4 years experience in equipment and process development. He joined the BNC staff in 2002.


Vlad Drachev
Staff Scientist/ Laser and optical systems
Phone: 494-0628

Vlad is responsible for all non-lithography laser and optical systems within the Birck Nanotechnology Center. Additionally, he spends 50% of his time on research activities, primarily in optics and spectroscopy.
Vlad holds a M.S. degree from Novosibirsk State University (Russia) and a Ph.D. from Institute of Automation and Electrometry, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). He has over 25 years experience in the field of optics and spectroscopy, and has received numerous honors and awards. Vlad came to Purdue in 2001, and joined the BNC Staff in 2005. Geoff Gardner
Process and Equipment Owner / Etching Systems

Phone: 494-3458
Text: Geoff shares responsibility with Hasan Sharifi for plasma etching and CVD in the BNC, including RIE’s, DRIE’s and PECVD. His primary goal is to optimize the performance and availability of the plasma systems, allowing users to successfully achieve their fabrication requirements.

Geoff has a B.S. in Applied Physics and an M.S. in Physics both from Purdue University. He has over 7 years of research and project management experience in both academic and industrial settings. Prior to joining the BNC team he served as a Physicist/Engineer for the Purdue Applied Physics Laboratory. Research included the design and implementation of neutron induced gamma-ray spectroscopy prototypes, an annealing system for high purity germanium detectors and an aerosol test chamber for characterization of commercial air samplers. He has been with Purdue since 2005.


Jeff Grau
Process and Equipment Owner/Photolithography
Phone: 494-6522

Jeff has overall responsibility for optical lithography in the BNC, including photomask generation and wafer photolithography. His primary goal is to enable in-house fulfillment of all photomask and lithography needs, and attract use of the BNC by outside organizations.

Jeff has over 30 years of industrial experience in the generation of photomasks and in semiconductor photolithography. Beginning his career at General nstruments Corporation, he moved to Commodore Semiconductor Systems then Advance Reproductions Corporation. He joined Purdue in 2004.

Dan Hosler
Process and Equipment Owner/Furnaces
Phone: 496-3883

Dan is responsible for the thermal furnace process in the cleanroom. This includes procurement of proper equipment, process development, planned maintenance and repair, and the training of users on the systems. Dan's primary goal is to provide well-working thermal processes to meet the needs of the students.

Dan has a B.S. in MET from Purdue University. He has worked for 9 years in the semiconductor industry at Delphi Electronics and Safety in Kokomo, IN. Dan joined the BNC Staff at Purdue in 2007.

Jeff Kuhn
Process and Equipment Owner


Dave Lubelski
Process and Equipment Owner/Metal Deposition, Recharge Center
Phone: 494-9102

Dave is responsible for metal deposition systems and for management of the recharge center. Dave’s experience in vacuum systems and deposition processes has elevated the performance of the BNC metallization systems. His goal is to enable BNC research through innovative deposition processes and the reduction of contamination in vacuum systems.

Dave has a B.S. in EET from Purdue University, and 22 years experience in UHV system design and maintenance, MBE growth, and metal deposition. Dave joined Purdue University in 1986.

Aamer Mahmood
Process and Equipment Owner / Fabrication & Processing
Phone: 494-6697

Aamer is responsible for developing semiconductor and MEMS fabrication processes. He holds additional responsibility of the Electrical Characterization Laboratory. His primary responsibilities are to develop microfabrication processes and to provide microfabrication and characterization services to academic and industrial users.

Aamer has a B.E., an M.S. and a Ph.D. degree  in Electrical Engineering and has more than 15 years of experience in academia and industry. His graduate and professional experience spans the areas of electromagnetic scattering, high gain antenna characterization, development of uncooled infrared sensors, development of a device-level vacuum-packaging scheme for microbolometers and the development of large deflection MEMS actuators. He joined Purdue as a Post Doctoral Researcher in September 2006 and since August 2008 has been working as a Microfab Research Engineer.


Tim Miller
Process and Equipment Owner/Ultrapure Water, Wet Processing, and Cleanroom Training
Phone: 494-3461

Tim is responsible for the Nano-grade Ultrapure water system, Wet Processing/Hoods, and cleanroom training. He draws upon 29 years of experience in research, equipment modification and repair, and laboratory leadership at Purdue. His primary goal is to enable nanotechnology research in the BNC through providing the cleanest water available, termed nano-grade water.

Tim earned a BSEE from Purdue in May of 1979. He has played a key role in the planning and implementation of the BNC since its conception.

Lisa Reece
Staff Scientist/BNC BioSafety Officer
Phone: 496-6786 Lisa is responsible for biosafety within Birck, including the supervision of the two Biosafety Level 1 labs and the two Biosafety Level 2 labs. She is also available for scientific consultation on grant projects - in particular those research programs where nanofabrication and biological applications are concerned. Additionally, she spends 50% of her time on research activities with the Molecular Cytometry Facility in the Bindley Bioscience Center where she serves as Lab Director. The main goal of her research is nanomedicine and rare cell sorting using prototypical equipment including the High Speed High Resolution Cell Sorter and the LEAP (Laser Enabled Analysis and Processing) instrument. Other experience includes the development and testing of BioMEMS lab-on-a-chip systems.
Lisa holds a B.S. degree in Microbiology from the University of Texas at El Paso, and has 6 years of industrial microbiology and 20 years of academic research experience. She joined the BNC staff in 2006.

Bill Rowe
Process and Equipment Owner/e-Beam Lithography
Phone: 496-8389

Bill has the overall responsibility for electron beam lithography in the BNC, including both the Vistec and Raith systems. Bill’s goal is to make the electron beams user friendly and increase their usage for nanotechnology research in the BNC.

Bill has 29 years of mask making experience with Delco Electronics and DuPont Photomasks, Inc. Work experience included optical and electron beam equipment, inspection and metrology equipment, CAD, mask processing, safety, and customer service. Bill joined Purdue and the BNC Engineering Staff in 2007.


Kenny Schwartz
Process and Equipment Owner/Gases, Liquid Nitrogen, and Metal Deposition
Phone: 496-1174

Kenny has overall responsibility for all process gases in the BNC, including gas cabinets and VMBs, specialty gases, bulk gases – nitrogen, hydrogen, helium, oxygen, and argon – and the liquid nitrogen system. He is also responsible for operational capabilities of the evaporators and sputterers at BNC. His goal is to aid in keeping BNC at the forefront in research capabilities.

Kenny has 10 years experience in the semiconductor field, dealing primarily with Ultra Pure Gases with Praxair as well as 4 years serving as Site Manager of all bulk and process gases at the Delphi’s Kokomo campus. Kenny joined Purdue in 2005.


Hasan Sharifi
Process and Equipment Owner/Plasma Etching, Plasma CVD
Phone: 496-9189

Hasan is responsible for plasma etching and CVD in the BNC, including RIEs, DRIEs and PECVD. His primary goal is to maximize the performance of the plasma systems, enabling the researchers to achieve preeminence in their results.

Hasan has a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and more than 12 years of industrial and academic experience in analog and digital microelectronic circuit design, installation, operation and maintenance as well as semiconductor microfabrication. He was founder of Kahroba Afrazan Electronics Co. in 1997. He has been at Purdue since 2003 and joined the Engineering Staff in 2005.


Dmitri Zakharov
Staff Scientist/ Electron Microscopy
Phone: 496-1075

Dmitri is responsible for electron microscopy equipment, including transmission electron microscope (TEM), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and focused ion beam (FIB) system installed at Birck Nanotechnology Center. Additionally, he spends 50% of his time on research activities dedicated to problem solving in solid state physics by means of electron microscopy techniques.

Dmitri holds a M.S. degree from Moscow State Engineering Physical Institute (State University, Moscow, Russia), and Ph.D. from the Institute of Crystallography of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russia). He has over 11 years experience in the field of electron microscopy. He joined the BNC staff in 2006.


Dmitry (Dima) Zemlianov
Staff Scientist/ Surface analysis
Phone: 496-9189

Dmitry has responsibility for the Surface Analysis Lab at the BNC. His responsibilities include XPS and surface analysis service work and training for general users. Additionally, he spends 50% of his time on research activities, primarily in Surface Science, Catalysis and Biophysics.

Dmitry has a PhD in Physics and Mathematics from the Novosibirsk State University, Russia, and over 12 years of education xperience in both classroom and research environment. He completed research PostDocs at Fritz-haber-Institute, Berlin Germany, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA, studying catalytic phenomena on the surface of metals. Prior to coming to Purdue, Dmitry was an adjunct professor at WPI and a research scholar at University of Limerick, Ireland. He joined the BNC staff at Purdue in 2005.


Mary Jo Totten
Building Logistics
Phone: 496-1173

Mary Jo has responsibility for helping the residents of the building get situated and making sure their stay here is comfortable. Mary Jo maintains the card security system, issues keys, is in charge of the mailroom, shipping and receiving, the telephone system and data PICs, and addresses other issues as they arise.

Mary Jo received her BSE from Wayne State College in 1978. She has spent many years in electronics with Dale Electronics and was a Senior Planner of Electronics with Landis & Gyr. Mary Jo came to Purdue in 1995, working in Physics as a Lab Technician. She joined the Birck staff in 2005.


Ira Young
Process Logistics
Phone: 494-9104

Ira has overall responsibility for the purchasing, storage, and distribution of supplies for the cleanroom and laboratories. He is also responsible for the collection of chemical waste and its disposal through REM. His primary goal is to have supplies available and to distribute them to the students, staff, cleanroom, and laboratories as requested.

Ira has a BS from Purdue and 26 years of purchasing and inventory control experience. Beginning his career with Essex Group and moving to Lafayette Pharmaceuticals, he has worked with NRC, FDA, and DOD. He joined Purdue in 2006.