Franco Cerrina Fellowship Fund

SRC Education Alliance, in conjunction with SRC alumni, created the Franco Cerrina Fellowship Fund in 2010 to honor the memory of Dr. Cerrina and his outstanding contributions to research.

About Franco Cerrina

Franco Cerrina (1948-2010) received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Rome in 1974. He began his work at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1980 as a researcher in the Chemistry Department. Cerrina joined the faculty in 1984 as an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and became a full professor in 1990. During his tenure at UW-Madison, he served as the McFarland-Bascom Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Lynn H. Matthias Professor in Engineering. He directed the UW-Madison Center for X-Ray Lithography and the Center for NanoTechnology. Through the Center for NanoTechnology, he was developing new patterning techniques for device fabrication by merging standard lithography and molecular-level, scale-up methods. Through his affiliation with the UW-Madison Center for Biotechnology, Cerrina worked closely with the semiconductor industry and federal government on developing fabrication methods that will yield advanced processors and memory chips. In 2008, he accepted a position at Boston University as the Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Throughout the years, he co-founded five companies, held 16 patents, and had more than 300 reviewed publications. Cerrina applied physical sciences and engineering to manufacturing and biological challenges, focusing most recently on nanotechnology and biotechnology. Cerrina pushed the limits of photolithography for nanoscale applications ranging from fabricating devices on computer chips to DNA synthesis for biological research, drug and vaccine development, and genetic engineering. In particular, he applied semiconductor fabrication techniques to biological problems — a pursuit that yielded the maskless array synthesizer commercialized by NimbleGen Systems Inc., his first spinoff company.

The Fund

To celebrate his life and career, and to extend his vibrant legacy, the Cerrina Fellowship intends to encourage, sponsor and support young scientists and technologists whose work integrates leading-edge research into completely new application areas, crossing boundaries between traditional or established disciplines, with original ideas and solutions.

The Award

Once funded, the Franco Cerrina Fellowship will be awarded to students who best represnt the spirt of Cerrina by taking research in new directions in areas such as silicon/biological interfaces and applications, beyond-CMOS computational devices, nanotechnology and nanofabrication, and open new frontiers in electrical and computer engineering.

In the spirit of Cerrina, make an impact on tomorrow’s scientific breakthroughs.

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