Reginald M. Penner, Associate Dean, Research and Innovation

I have the best job in the School of Physical Sciences: Help our faculty and students do research!  On a daily basis my job involves supporting our amazing world-class research facilities, working with Helen Chen to assist faculty as they work to fund their research, promoting diversity in all aspects of the research mission of the School, and facilitating the transition of research ideas to societal benefit by commercialization.  I've been at UCI for thirty years, and this is surely the most exciting time for the School and the UCI campus that I've experienced, in spite of the unique challenges of doing science and mathematics in a pandemic.  If you are a student at any level, I hope you will seize the opportunity to tap into the research mission of the School and experience this excitement for yourself.  
I'm originally from Minnesota and I attended Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter where I obtained B.A. degrees in Chemistry and Biology in 1983.  At Texas A&M University, I received a Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1987 and then proceeded to postdoctoral appointments at Stanford University and Caltech.  I was appointed in the Department of Chemistry at UCI in 1990 and rose through the ranks to become a Distinguished Professor in 2018.  My research group develops methods based upon electrodeposition for making nanomaterials, such as nanowires, that are composed of metals and semiconductors.  Then we build devices, such as gas sensors and battery electrodes, that exploit the unique properties of these nanowires.  After they graduate, my students often join the research and development efforts at companies like Intel, KLA, Applied Materials, 3M, and IBM.