NDnano Staff and Executive Committee Profiles

Wolfgang Porod, Director
Frank M. Freimann Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
203 Cushing Hall • 574.631.6376 • porod@nd.edu • Porod website

Wolfgang Porod

Wolfgang Porod currently is Frank M. Freimann Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame. He received his Diplom (M.S.) and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Graz, Austria, in 1979 and 1981, respectively. After appointments as a postdoctoral fellow at Colorado State University and as a senior research analyst at Arizona State University, he joined the University of Notre Dame in 1986 as an associate professor. He now also serves as the director of Notre Dame's Center for Nano Science and Technology (NDnano). His research interests are in the area of nanoelectronics, with an emphasis on new circuit concepts for novel devices. He has authored some 600 publications and presentations. Prof. Porod is a Fellow of the IEEE and AAAS, and he has served (2002-2003) as the vice president for publications on the IEEE Nanotechnology Council. Over the years, he has been active in organizing conferences, special sessions and tutorials, and as a speaker in IEEE Distinguished Lecturer Programs. Recently, he has been appointed as the founding editor-in-chief for IEEE's new open-access journal Nanotechnology Express.

Gary H. Bernstein, Associate Director
Frank M. Freimann Professor of Electrical Engineering
225 Cushing Hall • 574.631.6269 • bernstein.1@nd.edu • Bernstein website

Gary Bernstein

Prof. Gary Bernstein received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, with honors, in 1979 and master's degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University, W. Lafayette, Ind. in 1981. During the summers of 1979 and 1980, he was a graduate assistant at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and in the summer of 1983 interned at the Motorola Semiconductor Research and Development Laboratory, Phoenix, Ariz. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Arizona State University, Tempe, in 1987, after which he spent a year there as a postdoctoral fellow. He joined the department of electrical engineering at the University of Notre Dame in 1988 as an assistant professor, and was the founding director of the Notre Dame Nanofabrication Facility (NDNF) from 1989 to 1998. Dr. Bernstein received an NSF White House Presidential Faculty Fellowship in 1992. Promoted to rank of professor in 1998, he served as associate chairman from 1999 to 2006. Bernstein was named the Frank M. Freimann Professor of Electrical Engineering in 2010, and currently serves as the associate director of NDnano. Prof. Bernstein has authored or co-authored more than 250 publications in the areas of electron beam lithography, nanomagnetics, quantum electronics, high-speed integrated circuits, electromigration, MEMS, and electronics packaging. Bernstein was named a Fellow of the IEEE in 2006, and with his student, Jie Wu, received the Sensors and Transducers Journal Best Paper of the Year Award for 2006 and, as lead author, the IEEE Transactions on Advanced Packaging Best Paper of the Year Award in 2007.  He is cofounder of Indiana Integrated Circuits, LLC based in South Bend, Ind.

David K. Balkin, Managing Director
206 Cushing Hall • 574.631.6470 • dbalkin@nd.edu

David Balkin

Dr. Balkin received his bachelor's (1982), and master's (1984) degrees in metallurgical engineering, and his Ph.D. (1993) in materials science and engineering from the University of Notre Dame. His research interests were in the processing of amorphous thin film diffusion barriers and the effects of rare earth substitutions on the processing and properties of YBa2Cu3O7-x based superconductors. David's professional experience includes 26 years with IBM, where he held a variety of engineering, management, and executive management positions. He has engineering expertise in 1st and 2nd level packaging process development, and X86 processor development and applications. In addition to starting IBM's 200-mm OEM semiconductor foundry business, David held a variety of executive positions within IBM Microelectronics that included serving as director of the worldwide Field Applications Engineering (FAE) organization, director of the custom logic business line (responsible for a $500 million P&L), and director of IBM's (900+ person) ASICs and EDA development organization. Most recently, David was president, chief operating officer, and chairman of the board for Genea Energy Partners Inc. (a building energy management company based out of southern Calif.); and the president and chief operating officer of Secure Financial Services Inc. (a leading financial analytics service provider based out of Colchester, Vt).

Tiffanie S. Stewart, Research Scientist
204 Cushing Hall • 574.631.9139 • tstewar5@nd.edu


Dr. Stewart received a bachelor of science degree in biomedical sciences at the University of South Alabama on a full athletic soccer scholarship in 2007. After her bachelor’s degree, she was selected to work with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Kenya as one of the first overseas volunteers to study the effect of micronutrient supplement in children under the age of five. She returned to the US to study HIV and nutrition in public health for her master’s degree at Florida International University, where she completed a pilot study that supplemented HIV+ individuals with antioxidants to improve immune reconstitution. Her doctoral degree investigated biomarkers of liver fibrosis in HIV mono- and HIV and hepatitis C co-infected individuals. During her doctoral education, she conducted clinical research for a large NIH study and became interim laboratory lab manager for her research group, after which she transitioned into nanomedicine and cancer research in the Center for Personalized Nanomedicine. As a research scientist at Notre Dame's Center for Nano Science and Technology, she is developing magnetoelectric drug delivery platforms and experimental methods to test targeted delivery and on-demand release of drugs to specific cancer cell types. Dr. Stewart is also  developing collaborations to investigate the effect of deep brain stimulation using magnetoelectric nanoparticles on neurodegenerative diseases.

Patrick Fay, ND Nanofabrication Facility Director
261 Fitzpatrick Hall • 574-631-5693 • pfay@nd.edu • Fay website


Patrick Fay is currently professor of electrical engineering and director of Notre Dame's Nanofabrication Facility (NDNF). He received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1991, and his master's degree and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1993 and 1996, respectively. Dr. Fay returned to Notre Dame in 1997, as a faculty member in the department of electrical engineering. His research interests include the design, fabrication, and characterization of high-performance heterostructure devices (e.g., HEMTs, HBTs, and III-V MOSFETs), microwave and millimeter-wave electronic devices and circuits, milllimeter-wave and THz detection and imaging, as well as high-speed optoelectronic devices and optoelectronic integrated circuits for fiber optic telecommunications. His research also includes the development and use of micromachining techniques for the fabrication of microwave and millimeter-wave components and packaging. His educational initiatives include the development of an advanced undergraduate laboratory course in microwave circuit design and characterization, and graduate courses in optoelectronic devices and electronic device characterization. He was awarded the department of electrical engineering's IEEE Outstanding Teacher Award in 1998-1999, and is a senior member of the IEEE. 

Prashant Kamat, NDnano Executive Committee member
223B Radiation Lab • 574-631-5411 • pkamat@nd.edu • Kamat website

Prashant Kamat

Prashant V. Kamat is a Rev. John A. Zahm, C.S.C., Professor of Science in the department of chemistry and biochemistry and radiation laboratory and concurrent professor in the department of chemical and biomolecular engineering. A native of Binaga, India, he earned the masters (1974) and doctoral degree (1979) in physical chemistry from Bombay University, and carried out his postdoctoral research at Boston University (1979-1981) and University of Texas at Austin (1981-1983). He joined Notre Dame in 1983. Prof. Kamat has for nearly three decades worked to build bridges between physical chemistry and material science by developing advanced nanomaterials for cleaner and more efficient light energy conversion. His research has made significant contributions to four areas: (1) photoinduced catalytic processes using semiconductor and metal nanoparticles, nanostructures and nanocomposites, (2) development of light energy harvesting assemblies (e.g., quantum dots and inorganic-organic hybrid assemblies) for next generation solar cells, (3) utilization of carbon nanostructures (SWCNT and graphene) as conducting scaffolds to collect and transport charge carriers in solar cells and fuel cells, and (4) environmental remediation using advanced oxidation processes and chemical sensors. He has directed DOE-funded solar photochemistry research for the past 20 years. In addition to large multidisciplinary interdepartmental and research center programs, he has actively worked with industry-sponsored research. He has served on many national panels on nanotechnology and energy conversion processes. He has published more than 450 scientific papers that have been well received by the scientific community (35000+ citations). Prof. Kamat has an h-index of 102. Science Watch of ISI included him among the Top 100 chemists of the decade 2000-2010. In 2010, Kamat was named by the American Chemical Society as the deputy editor of the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. He is a member of the advisory board of scientific journals, Langmuir, Research on Chemical Intermediates, Applied Electrochemistry and Interface. He was awarded the Honda-Fujishima Lectureship award by the Japanese Photochemical Society in 2006 and CRSI medal by the Chemical Research Society of India in 2011. He is a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Michael T. Niemier, NDnano Executive Committee member
380 Fitzpatrick Hall • 574-631-3858 • mniemier@nd.edu • Niemier website


Prof. Niemier received bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degrees in computer engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1998, 2000, and 2004, respectively. He was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at the University of Notre Dame, where he is currently an associate professor. He was a faculty member at the Georgia Institute of Technology before returning to Notre Dame. His research interests include designing, facilitating, and evaluating architectures for emerging technologies with an emphasis on spintronics, emerging transistor technologies, and mechanisms for heterogeneous technology integration. Dr. Niemier is a recipient of an IBM Faculty Award, the Best Paper Award at the IEEE Symposium on Nanoscale Architectures in 2009, and the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Heidi Deethardt, Administrative Assistant
206 Cushing Hall • 574-631-0279 • deethardt.1@nd.edu

Heidi Deethardt

Heidi is responsible for the Center's administrative tasks, including website updates and coordination of the NDnano Undergraduate Research Fellowship (NURF) program. Previously, she provided administrative support to the MIND and LEAST centers. Prior to joining Notre Dame in 2008, she worked in communications for St. Joseph Hospital, Mishawaka and Robert Bosch Corporation, South Bend. She holds a bachelor's degree in public relations from Purdue University.