BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Alexander N. Cartwright, Ph.D., assistant
professor of electrical engineering at the University at Buffalo,
is the recipient of a prestigious Department of Defense Office of
Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Program Award.
Cartwright is one of just 26 engineers and scientists across the
United States to be honored with the award this year. He is only
the third UB faculty member ever to receive the award.
The award comes with a research grant of $300,000 over three
years, with additional funding available for three more years.
ONR's Young Investigator Awards recognize exceptional young
scientists and engineers. Criteria include prior professional
achievement, submission of a meritorious research proposal and
evidence of strong support by their respective universities.
Cartwright received the award to continue his research into the
complete understanding of how piezoelectric fields, which arise
from changes in the crystalline structure of strained layers of
nitride-based semiconductors, can be incorporated into design
criteria for wide bandgap electronic devices, modulators and blue
In particular, he will use the grant to expand on existing
experimental and theoretical expertise to characterize the
magnitude and structural and compositional dependence of
piezoelectric fields, induced in nitride semiconductor
Cartwright conducts research in numerous related areas of
photonics, such as optical determination of stress and strain in
electronic packaging using interferometry, a collaborative effort
with Cemal Basaran, Ph.D., UB associate professor of civil
engineering and a 1997 ONR Young Investigator.
Cartwright also is collaborating with Chu R. Wie, Ph.D.,
professor of electrical engineering, to develop educational
software that focuses on the development of Java applets that serve
as educational tools for microelectronics and photonics. Such tools
are designed to be accessible to a wide range of users, beginning
with high-school students and progressing up to the level of
post-doctoral researchers working in industry.
In addition to his teaching and research, Cartwright holds
positions in a host of UB labs and centers, including director of
the Laboratory for Advanced Spectroscopic Evaluation, director of
the Ultrafast Laser Facility (a Center for Advanced Photonics and
Electronic Materials/Materials Research Instrument Facility),
associate director of the Electronics Packaging Laboratory, deputy
director for lasers and photonics for the Institute for Lasers,
Photonics and Biophotonics and co-director for the Center for
Active Learning of Microelectronics and Photonics.
The ONR Young Investigator is Cartwright's second prestigious
award. In 1998, he received the National Science Foundation Faculty
Early Career Development Award, which recognizes young faculty
members who have demonstrated outstanding potential as science and
engineering investigators and educators. That grant supports his
research on the use of gallium-nitride-based materials for visible
spatial-light modulators for thin-panel display technology.
His work on Gallium/Indium/Aluminum/Nitride materials will aid
in the development of ultraviolet and blue lasers, as well as
photodetectors for CD-ROMS, laser printers and communication
Cartwright received his doctorate from the University of Iowa in
He lives in Amherst.