The University of Texas at Dallas

Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science


Engineer Receives Young Investigator Award

Engineer Receives Young Investigator Award

William Vandenberghe at a computerDr. William Vandenberghe

Dr. William Vandenberghe, assistant professor of materials science and engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, has been awarded the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Young Investigator Award for his work on nanoscale electronic circuits.

The research grant provides $100,000 per year for at least three years, with an option to extend for two more years. The agency, part of the Department of Defense, supports basic research related to reducing, eliminating and countering the threat and effects from weapons of mass destruction.

Vandenberghe’s research focuses on the study of electron transport at the nanoscale level using theoretical methods and computer modeling. His work includes the use of two-dimensional materials and topological insulators for new devices.

Vandenberghe said his research is tied mostly to semiconductor industry and military applications of nanoscale electronics used in smartphones, tablets and computers. He uses computers to model the configuration of atoms in novel materials and predict what properties those materials will have.

“I model materials made by an experimental group, then change the model in some way, on an atomic level,” he said. “I will then ‘run’ the experiment on my computer before an experiment is conducted in real life, which can save businesses or government agencies time and money.”

Vandenberghe’s research is also funded by the National Science Foundation, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Texas Instruments.