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Mauricio Terrones Named Verne M. Willaman Professor of Physics
28 May 2019

Mauricio TerronesMauricio Terrones, Distinguished Professor of Physics, Chemistry, and Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State, has been selected as the Verne M. Willaman Professor of Physics. The appointment is awarded by the Office of the President of the University, based on the recommendation of the Dean of the Eberly College of Science, in recognition of Terrones’ national and international reputation for excellence in research and teaching

Through his research, Terrones has made considerable experimental and theoretical contributions to the field of nanoscience — the physico-chemical and biological manipulation of incredibly small structures less than 100 nanometers, or less than a thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair. He studies and builds nanomaterials that exhibit novel phenomena and could potentially have industrial, biomedical, and electronic applications, including carbon-based and low-dimensional materials like carbon nanotubes, graphene, and monolayers of transition metal dichalcogenides.

He has co-authored over 550 papers in scientific journals including Nature, Science, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Materials, Physical Review Letters, Nano Letters, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Applied Physics Letters, and his research articles have been cited more than 40,000 times worldwide. Terrones helped create Penn State’s Center for 2-Dimensional and Layered Materials and has been the center’s director since 2013. He is also director of the NSF-IUCRC Center for Atomically Thin Multifunctional Coatings (ATOMIC) at Penn State and Editor-in-Chief of the highly-cited journal Carbon.

Terrones has been honored in the past with the Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Physical Sciences from Penn State in 2016; the Somiya Award for International Collaboration in Materials Research from the International Union of Materials Research Societies in 2009; the Japan Carbon Award for Innovative Research from the Japan Carbon Society TANSO in 2008; the Scopus Prize from Elsevier in 2007; the Fernando Alba Medal from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 2007; The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Prize in Engineering in 2006; the Javed Husain Prize and the Albert Einstein Medal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2001; and the Mexican National Prize for Chemistry in 2000. He Is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), the American Physical Society, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), and the Mexican Academy of Sciences.

Prior to joining the Penn State faculty in 2011, Terrones was a professor at the Universidad Carlos III in Spain in 2010 and at the Instituto Potosino de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (IPICYT) in San Luis Potosí, Mexico from 2001 to 2009. He was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung in Germany in 1999, and a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Sussex from 1997 to 1999. Terrones obtained a doctoral degree in chemical physics at the University of Sussex under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Harold W. Kroto in 1997 and a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics with first class honors at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico in 1992.

The Willaman Professorships were established in 1999 by Verne M. Willaman, a 1951 graduate of Penn State. The professorships provide outstanding faculty members with a supplemental source of support to further their research, teaching, writing, and public service.