Nanosystems industry expert to deliver Discovery Lecture at Purdue

March 15, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A nanotechnology industry leader will deliver a Discovery Lecture Series talk next week on advancements in designing computers the size of a human cell.

James C. Ellenbogen, chief scientist of the Nanosystems Group and Emerging Technologies at MITRE Corp., will speak at 3 p.m. Thursday (March 21) in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 121. The talk will provide an overview of ongoing work in his company's 20-year effort in nanotechnology engineering focused on the ultra-tiny molecular scale.

The lecture, titled "Integrated Nanosystems For Ultra-Miniaturized Computers … and More," is free and open to the public. Sponsors for his Discovery Lecture are Lilly Endowment, Discovery Park and the Birck Nanotechnology Center.

"Dr. Ellenbogen is noted for his unique contributions to molecular electronics and his efforts over two decades toward building electronic computers integrated on the nanoscale," said Ali Shakouri, the Mary Jo and Robert L. Kirk Director of the Birck Nanotechnology Center and a Purdue professor of electrical and computer engineering. "He also has been an innovative mentor in the nanotechnology field for grooming the next generation of scientists and engineers."

Through a $1 million gift to Discovery Park from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment, Purdue launched the Discovery Lecture Series in 2006 for bringing prominent speakers to campus.

Ellenbogen, who taught at several universities before joining MITRE in 1984, has focused on advancing the science and technology for designing and developing nanotechnology-enabled ultra-miniaturized systems. Specifically, he has led efforts in ultra-small electronic computer processors integrated on the nanometer scale for computers approximately the size of a human cell.

In 2011 that research resulted in the realization of the world's first nanoelectronic computer processor. He recently has collaborated in the development of high-performance, nanotechnology-enabled portable power systems and in the discovery of new laws of physics that provide a path to the rapid design of nanocircuits and toward the more rapid modeling of materials on all scales.

Ellenbogen has authored a number of highly cited papers on nanoelectronics and nanotechnology and is the inventor or co-inventor of key patented nanotechnology innovations. Based on his own technical work and that of his MITRE collaborators, he has assisted the government in planning and guiding a number of advanced and emerging technology research and development programs.

Ellenbogen co-founded the MITRE Student Program in 1989, and he continues to coordinate that corporate program for mentoring high school students and college undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and applied mathematics.

In that role, he has helped place more than 800 different students in paid summer technical positions across the company. Within the Nanosystems Group, he has personally mentored more than 130 students. In 2005 he received Washington Academy of Sciences Merit and Distinction in the Engineering Sciences Award.

Ellenbogen received his master's degree in chemical physics from the University of Wisconsin in 1972 and his doctorate in that area from the University of Georgia in 1977. He has given many presentations throughout the world on nanotechnology and nanoelectronics.

MITRE, which was formed in 1958 as a not-for-profit corporation under the leadership of C.W. Halligan, has principal locations in Bedford, Mass., and McLean, Va. As a national resource, the company applies its expertise in systems engineering, information technology, operational concepts and enterprise modernization to address its sponsors' critical needs.

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133,

Source: Ali Shakouri, 765-496-6105,

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