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Thirumalai Venkatesan

Thirumalai Venkatesan

A photo of Thirumalai Venkatesan.






B.S. Indian Institute of Technology (1969)

M.S. Indian Institute of Technology (1971)

Ph.D. City University of New York and Bell Labs (1977)


Prof. T. Venkatesan is currently a Professor of Physics and ECE at University of Oklahoma (OU), and Scientific affiliate at NIST Gaithersburg. He is also the founding Director of the Center of Optimal Materials for Emerging Technologies (COMET) at OU. Prior to this he was Director of the Nano Institute at the National University of Singapore (NUSNNI) where he was a Professor of ECE, Physics, MSE and NGS. He wore various hats at Bell Labs and Bellcore before becoming a Professor at University of Maryland.

As the inventor of the pulsed laser deposition (PLD) process, he has over 800 papers and 34 patents and is globally among the top one hundred physicists (ranked at 66 in 2000) in terms of his citations (Over 54,300 with a hirsch Index of 118- Google Scholar). He has graduated over 56 PhDs, 35 Post Docs and over 35 undergraduates. He is also the founder and Chairman of Neocera, and Neocera Magma, companies specializing in PLD and magnetic field imaging systems and co-founder of Blue Wave Semiconductors. He recently helped launch two healthcare companies in Singapore, Cellivate and Breathonix. Close to 12 of the researchers (PhD students and Post Docs) under him have become entrepreneurs starting over 25 different commercial enterprises.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), National Academy of Inventors (USA), Singapore National Academy of Science, Asia-Pacific Artificial Intelligence Academy, World Innovation Foundation, American Physical Society (APS), Materials Research Society (MRS), Academician of the Asia Pacific Academy of Materials, winner of the Bellcore Award of excellence, George E. Pake Prize awarded by APS (2012), Distinguished Lectureship on the Applications of Physics Award- APS (2020), President’s gold medal of the Institute of Physics, Singapore, Guest Professor at Tsinghua University, past member of the Physics Policy Committee (Washington DC), the Board of Visitors at UMD and the Chairman, Forum of Industry and Applications of Physics at APS. He was awarded the outstanding alumnus award from two Indian Institute of Technologies- Kanpur (2015) and Kharagpur (2016), India.

His research interests are in Physics and applications of inorganic films and their heterostructures (oxides in particular). He is interested in the electronic, magnetic, and optical properties of materials and is interested in applying them to the field of memristors (neuromorphic circuits), meta-surfaces, plasmonics, and quantum qubits and sensors. He is also interested in using surfaces to control cellular growth, molecular patterns in breath profile to diagnose diseases and the use of high-resolution mass spectrometers in in-operando catalysis processes.

 Thirumalai Venkatesan CV

Featured Publications

Awards & Honors

  • Elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (2022)
  • Elected Fellow of the Royal Society (2021)
  • Elected Fellow of Materials Research Society (2020)
  • Distinguished Lectureship Award on the Application of Physics - American Physical Society (2020)
  • Nominated - World Economic Forum - Committee member for future advanced materials (2016)
  • Outstanding Alumnus Award, IIT Kharagpur (2016)
  • Outstanding Alumnus Award, IIT Kanpur (2015)
  • President’s Gold Medal - Institute of Physics, Singapore (2014)
  • Provost Chair Professor, NUS (2013-present)
  • Academician, Asia-Pacific Academy of Materials (2013)
  • George E Pake Prize of American Physical Society for excellence in Research Management (2012)
  • Honorary Guest Professor, Tsinghua University, Beijing (2005-2008)
  • Fellow of World Innovation Forum (2003)
  • University of Maryland Graduate Board Award (1994-1995)
  • Bellcore Award of Excellence (1989-1990)
  • Fellow of American Physical Society (1987)