CNSEs Associate Vice President of Technology Dr. James G. Ryan Named Founding Dean of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering

James G. Ryan, a professor and administrator at one of the world's leading colleges of nanotechnology and a researcher with 47 U.S. patents, will be the founding dean of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN), a partnership between North Carolina A&T State University and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

James G. Ryan, PhD.

Since 2005, Ryan has served as associate vice president of technology and professor of nanoscience in the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany. Small Times, a magazine devoted to micro and nanotechnology, in 2007 named CNSE the world's top college or university in the field. He has served as principal or co-principal investigator for contracts totaling more than $1.7 billion while at CNSE.

As founding dean, Ryan will guide JSNN's creation, from the hiring of its faculty to the design of its building at the south campus of Gateway University Research Park. Until its permanent home is completed, the joint school will lease space at the research park in the U.S. Department of Agriculture building, which will be completed this summer.

"Dr. Ryan's background, experience, and expertise will be of historical proportion for Greensboro and will provide the kind of synergy for future economic development opportunities for both North Carolina A&T and UNCG," said NC A&T Chancellor Stanley F. Battle. "Through this initiative the two universities are charting new pathways in the areas of nanotechnology, nanoengineering and research, and through Dr. Ryan's leadership, the institutions will reach new heights of excellence in those and related fields of study and discovery. We welcome his arrival."

UNCG Chancellor Patricia A. Sullivan said, "When UNCG and A&T started planning for this joint school two years ago, we knew it was the kind of bold and imaginative proposal that results when two great research universities put their collective heads together. I'm delighted that we've progressed so far and can announce James Ryan's appointment as the founding dean - his credentials are amazing and I'm sure that he will do a spectacular job. The joint school can now become a reality, with its enormous potential for research development and economic impact. This announcement marks a great day for our two universities, and for Greensboro and the state."

Ryan, whose job begins officially on July 14, said "I am honored to be selected as the founding dean of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering of North Carolina A&T State University and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I want to take this opportunity to thank the legislature, the community of Greensboro and the leadership of both universities for their vision and commitment in the establishment of the JSNN.

"I am excited to have the opportunity to work with the universities and community to develop JSNN into a world class education and research institution that will help to enable economic growth through joint research and development between academic and industrial partners. Although I'm sure that there will be many challenges along the way, the JSNN model will help Greensboro and the Triad lead the way in the knowledge economy of the 21st century"

The provosts of both universities expressed enthusiasm for Ryan and for the Joint School's potential for the city and the region.

"NC A&T State University and UNCG are classified by the Carnegie Foundation as ‘research universities with high research activity,'" said NC A&T Provost Janice G. Brewington. "The Joint School for Nanoscience and Nanoengineering will capitalize on the strengths of both institutions to offer interdisciplinary graduate programs and to strengthen the foundation for economic development in the Triad and the state. This partnership is one of the most innovative in the history of this area and will serve as a national model for collaboration."

Dr. Ryan is eminently qualified to serve as founding dean of the JSNN," said UNCG Provost David H. Perrin. "His experience as associate vice president of technology and professor of nanoscience in the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University of Albany will be invaluable in launching the JSNN. Dr. Ryan is an inventor of national and international repute. He has established industry relationships that will immediately translate to support and recognition for the JSNN. He is known as a tremendous motivator of people. His interpersonal skills and communication style are perfectly suited for coalescing faculty of science and engineering from the two universities with the new faculty of the JSNN."

The N.C. General Assembly has already committed $58 million for the school's capital needs and $1.4 million in annually recurring funds. The two universities hope the state will provide $4 million in start-up money and boost recurring funds to $6.9 million by 2011. The research park, itself a collaboration between the two universities, has its south campus off East Lee Street near I-40.

The joint school, which has been in its initial planning stages for the last two years, will train students to conduct basic and applied research in nanoscience and nanoengineering, and will offer a master's degree and a doctorate in nanoscience. The research conducted by school faculty will have a high potential for technology transfer to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and nanotechnology companies in North Carolina. Nanotechnology has tremendous potential to change the way we live; new discoveries could reduce auto emissions or lead to more effective cancer treatment.

Ryan's duties at CNSE include development of strategic relationships and managing operations of the institution's cleanrooms and consortia. His research interests include thin film deposition, interconnection technology, semiconductor manufacturing technology and radiation hard nanoelectronics.

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