Materials Science is a highly interdisciplinary field based on perspectives from physics, chemistry, electronics, optics and biology. The Center for Materials Research (CMR) at NSU conducts pioneering research in materials science and engineering and provides graduate education on the master’s and doctoral levels. CMR research falls into four categories: Optics, Plasmonics and Meta-materials; Nano-materials and Nano-technology; Advanced Functional Materials and Devices; and Semiconductor Materials and Devices. CMR researchers seek to understand fundamental science and develop new solutions for technical challenges. Through our cutting-edge research activities and facilities, CMR students are equipped and trained in the synthesis and characterization of new materials and the development of innovative devices.
Rabia Hussain, PhD candidate in the Center for Materials Research (advisor Dr. Natalia Noginova), was selected as a finalist in the prestigious “Emil Wolf 2013 Outstanding Student Paper Competition” for the Frontiers in Optics (FiO)-2013 conference. This competition recognizes the innovation, research excellence and presentation skills of students
Dr. Frances Williams, associate professor of engineering, is among the recipients of the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award presented by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and Dominion Resources.
The Outstanding Faculty Award is the Commonwealth's highest honor for faculty at Virginia's public and private colleges and universities and recognizes superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service. Dr. Williams is one of 12 recognized statewide. This is the second consecutive year that a Norfolk State University faculty member received the award. "To be recognized in consecutive years with this honor speaks to the exemplary quality of faculty at NSU," said President Tony Atwater. "Dr. Williams is an innovator and has been instrumental in leading our efforts in providing researchers throughout the region with a state-of-the-art user friendly clean-room."
Dr. Williams has conducted extensive research in the area of acoustic micro-sensors, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) devices and processes. In 2010, she was granted a patent that is expected to save the semiconductor industry money. Dr. Williams is interim director of the Center for Materials Research and director of the Micro- and Nano-technology Center (MiNaC), a $6.5 million state-of-the-art clean-room. She is also the diversity director for the Center for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN) Engineering Research Center (ERC), a multi-university center that is funded by the National Science Foundation. Since coming to Norfolk State in 2004, Dr. Williams has been awarded grants that total more than $12 million.
She has been recognized for her research and innovation. Dr. Williams was named an Emerging Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Education in January 2012. She was honored by Norfolk State University in 2010 with a Distinguished Faculty Award, receiving the University Award of Excellence—the highest University faculty award at that time. In 2012, Dr. Williams was recognized by the NSU Board of Visitors for her innovation.
She received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. Dr. Williams earned the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, Office of Naval Research HBCU Future Engineering Faculty Fellow, Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science Fellow, and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Scholar.