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Report of the General Board on the establishment of a Hitachi Professorship of Electron Device Physics

The GENERAL BOARD beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. Since 1989 there has been a collaborative programme of research and development in the Cavendish Laboratory involving the Microelectronics Research Centre, a research group within the Department of Physics, and the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory (HCL) which is an embedded laboratory within the Cavendish. This collaboration, which was initiated by Professor Haroon Ahmed, and has built upon his extensive research interests, has proved to be highly successful. More than a hundred papers have been published and there have been many conference presentations in recent years, including numerous invited and plenary papers. In addition, a number of important patents have been filed and some are now proceeding to commercial realization under the auspices of Cambridge University Technical Services Ltd. Some twenty students who were in receipt of CASE (Cooperative Awards in Science and Engineering) Studentships supported by Hitachi have received Ph.D. Degrees, and three of the HCL staff have been elected to Professorships at other UK and USA universities. Funding for research in the Microelectronics Research Centre has been provided mainly by Hitachi but projects have also attracted considerable support from UK central funding agencies, from Japanese Government agencies, and from the European Community.

2. The Microelectronics Research Centre is now recognized as a major international focus of research in semiconductor devices and nanoelectronics. The Centre's research and teaching activities are highly relevant to the interests of other research groups in the Department of Physics as well as in other Departments throughout the University; the M.Phil. course in Microelectronic Engineering and Semiconductor Physics, for example, has been operated very successfully for over a decade by the Microelectronics Research Centre and the Department of Engineering while the Centre's facilities for nanoscale device fabrication and characterization are used by a number of research groups within the University. The combined activity of the Centre and HCL now supports a complement of about sixty staff and students, and occupies some 1,000 sq.m. of experimental and office space. The Centre is well provided with high-quality experimental equipment and infrastructure facilities for research, as the buildings and equipment have been considerably enhanced through major donations from Hitachi and also direct research grant funds.

3. Professor Ahmed is due to retire from his Professorship of Microelectronics in the Department of Physics on 30 September 2003. The Department have reviewed the position of the Microelectronics Research Centre in the light of Professor Ahmed's forthcom-ing retirement and Hitachi's wish to continue the collaborative arrangement for the foreseeable future. The Department are of the firm view that the research collaboration should continue and that opportunities exist for significant expansion into new themes in the general areas of nanotechnology and electron device physics. As an illustration of their firm commitment to this collaboration Hitachi Ltd have generously offered a donation which would enable the University Lectureship that will be released from abeyance on Professor Ahmed's retirement to be replaced permanently by a Professorship. This donation will also provide for the Professor to be appointed one year in advance of Professor Ahmed's retirement, which the Department consider to be in the best interests of the Department, and the University, since it would ensure the continuity of the ongoing long-term projects that have been initiated by Professor Ahmed. The Professor will be expected to continue the present collaboration with Hitachi for so long as the HCL is an embedded laboratory within the Cavendish Laboratory. The Professor will also be expected to support initiatives in areas of nanotechnology, biological physics, medical physics, and associated theoretical work, playing a full role in all aspects of research and teaching. This will include playing a major role in planning new courses in nanotechnology and nanoelectronics which are highly likely to be included in the future programme for the Physics syllabus. In the event that the collaboration with Hitachi comes to an end, the Professorship will remain on the establishment of the Department of Physics.

4. The Department of Physics have proposed the establishment of a Professorship of Electron Device Physics from 1 October 2002, on condition that the University Lectureship that will be released from abeyance on Professor Ahmed's retirement on 30 September 2003 be suppressed. The General Board have accepted the proposal made by the Department, which also has the support of Professor Ahmed. The Board are assured that an appointment at this level will attract a strong field of well-qualified candidates.

5. The General Board accordingly propose that a Professorship of Electron Device Physics be established in the University from 1 October 2002 and assigned to the Department of Physics. They have agreed to concur in the view of the Department that the election to the Professorship should be made by an ad hoc Board of Electors, and that candidature should be open without limitation or preference to all persons whose work falls within the general field of the title of the office.

6. The General Board recommend:

I. That the generous offer of funds from Hitachi Ltd to support a Professorship of Electron Device Physics be gratefully accepted.

II. That a Hitachi Professorship of Electron Device Physics be established with effect from 1 October 2002, placed in Schedule B of the Statutes, and assigned to the Department of Physics.

III. That the regulations for the Hitachi Professor of Electron Device Physics, as set out in the Schedule to this Report, be approved.

25 April 2001     ALEC N. BROERS, Vice-Chancellor     KEITH GLOVER      A. C. MINSON
  TONY BADGER MALCOLM GRANT         KATE PRETTY
  P. J. BAYLEY PETER LIPTON M. SCHOFIELD
  N. BULLOCK

SCHEDULE

Hitachi Professor of Electron Device Physics. 2002. Department of Physics

1. The funds received from Hitachi Ltd towards the establishment of a Professorship of Electron Device Physics shall form a fund called the Hitachi Electron Device Physics Fund.

2. If and whenever the income of the Fund shall exceed the amount required for the payment of the stipend, national insurance, pension contributions, and associated indirect costs of the Professor payable by the University, the excess of the income over that amount may be applied in support of the work of the Professor and the Microelectronics Research Centre in such manner as may be approved by the General Board on the recommendation of the Head of the Department of Physics.

3. Any unexpended income in a financial year may in any subsequent year be expended in accordance with Regulation 2.


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Cambridge University Reporter, 16 May 2001
Copyright © 2011 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.