ITC Endowed Chair Professor
Northeastern University, Dept of ECE, Boston, USA
- Ph.D., University College London, University of London, 1982.
- M.Sc. in Microwaves and Modern Optics, University College London, University of London, 1978.
- Dipl. in Microwave Engineering, University College London, University of London, 1978.
- B.Sc. in Electronic Engineering (Hons), University of Essex, 1977.
Lombardi is a professor at Northeastern University in Boston, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the ECE Department. His current research revolves around nanotechnology across the entire technology stack, so from devices (hexaferrites for sensors and storage), through circuits (mostly involving non volatile memories involving new materials such as phase change).
Advice to Students:
- Listen, Learn and Labor (the so-called 3 L’s)
In which technical fields within Nanotechnology does your work apply best?
Q: When did you first find that your career path focused on nanotechnology?
Lombardi: My background during my undergraduate and initial graduate studies was microwaves and optics; I got interested in computer science/engineering (CSE) in my doctoral degree and at the onset of my academic career. However over nearly 2 decades, I have bridged CSE with more physical-based (device-level) topics to allow a more comprehensive technology assessment as well a detailed analysis of nanotechnology, from devices to systems.
Q: What current nanotechnology applications are you working on?
Lombardi: My current research focuses on mitigating variations due to nanoscale feature sizes (7-14 nm) with respect to computing and storage; in particular, I am interested in ensuring that errors and defects can be at least partially corrected and/or mediated, such that reliable operation can be still attained.
Q: What’s the most rewarding thing about working with nanotechnology?
Lombardi: It is probably the satisfaction to see tiny things to work and appreciate that they can make a substantial difference.
Q: Is there an example you can provide that shows how something you’ve worked on has positively impacted the world?
Lombardi: To come.
Q: In which areas do you anticipate future commercialization of nanotechnology having the greatest positive impact on the world?
Lombardi: Nanotechnology is pervasive and it will continue to have a major impact on every aspect of life.
Q: What do you think is the single greatest impact nanotechnology has had on the world thus far?
Lombardi: The greatest impact of nanotechnology is the miniaturization across diverse applicative areas such as nanomedicine as well as nanoelectronics; there is strong evidence that this trend will continue in at least the next decade due to transformation of society in a high-tech driven marketplace.
Q: Over the past decade, nanotechnology has moved out of the lab and is making a real impact in society. Have you worked on any efforts that helped to commercialize nanotechnology and resulted in new products or processes?
Lombardi: To come.
Q: Did your university training help you in your nanotechnology work?
Lombardi: To a certain extent my university level education helped me, but it should be also emphasized that there is a lot of self-learning, and that must be pursued on an individual basis.
Q: Do you have a mentor? Did you in your college years?
Lombardi: I have never had a mentor, but I had great teachers and advisors; I prefer to set my own choices, often making mistakes, but learning from them as well as the success stories.
Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you still focus on nanotechnology applications?
Lombardi: Yes, I would; however nanotechnology applications are still evolving, so the future may be full of exciting surprises.
Q: If a high school or college student was interested in nanotechnology, what advice would you give them to help prepare take on those roles?
Lombardi: The best advice for such a student is to listen, learn and labor (the so-called 3 L’s); in my opinion, these are the fundamental steps that transform a dedicated person an accomplished scientist and engineer.