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Schmidt to head microsystems labs

Professor Martin A. Schmidt of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) has been named the new head of the Microsystems Technology Laboratories effective January 16. He succeeds Professor L. Rafael Reif, who will become associate department head of EECS from electrical engineering in mid-January.

The Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) carry out research activities in the fabrication of extremely fine structures and their applications for integrated systems including X-ray lenses, VLSI circuits and micro-gas turbine engines. These artificial microstructures in micron, submicron and nanometer scales are at the heart of the information revolution and of the newer fields of microsensors and actuators.

"I'm very pleased to announce Marty Schmidt's appointment to this position," said Professor John Vander Sande, who made the appointment while he was acting dean of the School of Engineering. "Marty's leadership, combined with the support he has from the MTL faculty and staff, assures a very bright future for the Laboratories as they move aggressively into the 21st century."

"Professor Schmidt has done a tremendous job as an associate director of MTL and understands the operations of the Laboratories very well," Professor Reif added. "He is an outstanding choice, and I am looking forward to an exciting MTL under his leadership."

Professor Schmidt, an expert in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), received the BSEE from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1981 and the SM (1983) and PhD (1988) from MIT. He joined the Institute faculty as an assistant professor in 1988 and was promoted to associate professor in 1992. He received tenure in 1994 and became a full professor in 1998. He has been associate director of the MTL since 1997.

Professor Schmidt's research involves novel applications of MEMS technologies to a variety of fields, including miniature gas turbines, miniature chemical reactors, microswitches, biological applications and sensors monolithically integrated with electronics. He received an NSF Presidential Young Investigators Award in 1990.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 13, 1999.

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