Christian Binek, professor of physics and astronomy, has been named interim director of the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience. His appointment was effective Oct. 4.
Binek, who previously served as one of the center’s executive committee members, succeeds David Sellmyer, George Holmes University Distinguished Professor of physics.
The NU Board of Regents established the center in 1988 to serve as a focal point of interdisciplinary research in materials in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering. The center’s goal is to provide the state and university with a nationally recognized center of excellence in materials research science and engineering, nanoscience and nanotechnology.
Binek — an expert in spintronics, magnetic nanostructures, and statistical physics — has deep experience in leading interdisciplinary research on campus. He is head of the magnetoelectric materials and functional interfaces research group in Nebraska’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, funded through a $9.6 million National Science Foundation grant.
He is also a leader in Nebraska’s NSF-funded Antiferromagnetic Magneto-electric Memory and Logic group, focused on developing technologies for the semiconductor industry that are faster and more energy efficient.
Binek also has administrative experience, having served since 2015 as associate director for the Nebraska Nanoscale Facility. As part of the Oct. 4 transition, he became director of that facility, which is part of NSF’s National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure.
“As a veteran leader of interdisciplinary research within NCMN, as well as in the university’s NSF-funded MRSEC, Christian is ideally positioned to advance the center’s mission,” said Bob Wilhelm, vice chancellor for research and economic development. “This leadership experience, combined with Christian’s nationally regarded research expertise in magnetoelectric materials and spintronics, will help him elevate the center as Nebraska’s premier site for materials research.”
Sellmyer is stepping down from his multiple administrative roles on campus and will focus on directing four NSF- and Department of Energy-funded projects.