Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Recognizing that the Texas A&M University College of Engineering has “enormous reach and the ability to shape the future of the IT industry and its workforce,” Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) recently donated equipment valued at $18 million and $1.5 million to establish an endowed chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
“We anticipate that this huge jump in our capabilities will attract researchers outside our university to come here to not only use our facility but also collaborate with our faculty,” says Dr. Arum Han.
The AggieFab Nanofabrication Facility is a shared nano/microfabrication facility with more than 6,500 square feet of class 100/1000 cleanroom space. It also has a raised access floor and vertical laminar flow, as well as an additional 4,500 square feet of support space. The facility has state-of-the-art equipment for full ranges of micro and nanoscale fabrication on diverse materials.
Among the equipment donated by HPE is a Clustex 100sp Multi-Deposition Sputter, used to deposit different material layers on a wafer; a Titan Themis Transmission Electron Microscope; an FEI Helios NanoLabTM DualBeamTM Focused Ion Beam system; and a Zeiss Orion Plus Helium Ion Microscope/NanoFab.
“It typically takes three to four years of intensive effort and institutional support to acquire even one instrument that HPE just donated. Having four such high-end instruments coming to our cleanroom facility simultaneously is just absolutely amazing and is unheard of for any university cleanroom.
–Dr. Arum Han, Director, AggieFab Nanofabrication Facility and Professor
These nanopatterning and atomic-level film deposition instruments will give Texas A&M researchers the chance to develop next-generation technologies across several disciplines.
“The suite of state-of-the-art nanopatterning and atomic-level thin film deposition instruments just donated by Hewlett Packard Enterprise will provide new capabilities,” Han says. “Researchers can now develop next-generation computer chips for more powerful but energy-efficient computing, integrated photonic devices and microsensors for biosensing/medical applications or better autonomous vehicles, or flexible electronic devices and micro/nanofluidic systems for continuous health monitoring or point of care diagnosis in remote settings.”
He says departmental researchers are extremely thankful to HPE and to the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station leadership who helped make the donation possible.
“It typically takes three to four years of intensive effort and institutional support to acquire even one instrument that HPE just donated,” explains Han. “Having four such high-end instruments coming to our cleanroom facility simultaneously is just absolutely amazing and is unheard of for any university cleanroom.”
The HPE gift of $1.5 million, combined with a donation of $500,000 by the Office of the President at Texas A&M, will establish the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. This endowed chair is designed to attract or retain an engineering faculty member with interests related to advanced materials and photonics.
“We are proud to build on the college’s deep capabilities in materials science and physics to extend its expertise into the next generation of materials and computing architectures,” says Mark Potter, chief technology officer of HPE and director of Hewlett Packard Labs. “At HPE, innovation is at the heart of our ethos, and we look forward to partnering further with the college on meaningful research that will shape our industry.”