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Magnusson named Texas Instruments Distinguished University Chair in Nanoelectronics

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Monday, September 22, 2008

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Media Contact: Herb Booth, Office:817-272-7075, Cell:214-546-1082, hbooth@uta.edu

ARLINGTON - Dr. Robert Magnusson has been appointed to the Texas Instruments Distinguished University Chair in Nanoelectronics, a $5 million endowed chair for The University of Texas at Arlington.

A $1 million gift from Texas Instruments is being coupled with $1 million from UT Arlington to make up the $2 million permanent endowment for the chair. Additional funding of $2.5 million is provided by the state's Emerging Technology Fund along with $500,000 from the UT System STARS (Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention) Program for a total commitment of $5 million.

The official announcement will be made at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, in the atrium of Nedderman Hall, 416 S. Yates St.

Dr. Magnusson taught at UT Arlington from 1984-98, and served as chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering here from 1998-2001. He also is the founder and chief technology officer for Resonant Sensors Inc.

“We are so pleased that Dr. Magnusson has returned to Maverick country,” UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo said. “Texas Instruments – always an insightful player in future technology – recognizes the value of Dr. Magnusson’s research. And they have backed up that keen perception with a generous contribution to this endowed chair. We look forward to future collaborations with Texas Instruments.”

“TI’s grant makes a strong statement – we believe in the exciting future of nanoelectronics and in the solid research capabilities of UTA,” said Philip J. Ritter, TI senior vice president of public affairs. “Research strength among our local universities is critical to the future success of our company and our region, and we are pleased to contribute to the funding of this chair.”

Dr. Magnusson has developed a new class of nanostructured photonic devices that have applications in lasers, sensors, solar cells and display technology. Near-term projects include commercialization of new biosensor platforms for drug discovery and medical diagnostics.

The technology could make drug discovery happen in real time instead of waiting hours, days or weeks for results.

“We’re looking forward to bringing more of these devices and processes to market,” said Dr. Magnusson, who already has obtained dozens of patents on related technology. “We believe that our technology will help revolutionize the medical device and drug discovery industries.”

TI Senior Fellow Dr. Robert R. Doering said, “Nanoelectronics innovations will help solve some of the world’s most pressing problems such as health care, energy efficiency and safety. Dr. Magnusson’s ground-breaking research will develop next-generation solutions where there are issues in medicine today, reducing the time it takes to bring new drugs to market or to determine medical diagnoses.”

Arjuna “Arjun” Sanga, associate vice chancellor for Technology Transfer at The University of Texas System, said the researchers who were drawn to UT System institutions are not only leaders with great research track records, but they also understand commercialization and what it takes to create new companies.

“The program has done exactly what we envisioned,” Sanga said. “We set out to bring the best people to Texas, and they’ve come. We are tremendously grateful to Texas Instruments in showing outstanding leadership in participating in this visionary program.”

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