Physicist Jeremy Levy Receives $3 Million Grant and National Distinction

Issue Date: 
September 14, 2015

The U.S. Department of Defense recently selected University of Pittsburgh professor Jeremy Levy as one of seven distinguished university faculty scientists and engineers to form the next class of National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellows (NSSEFF).

Jeremy LevyLevy, a Distinguished Professor of Condensed Matter Physics in Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and director of the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute, was awarded as much as $3 million for up to five years.

Levy has pioneered research in reconfigurable nanoelectronics at oxide interfaces, which holds promise for a variety of future applications, including the creation of materials that combine the functions of electronic and magnetic manipulation and storage of information.

This award will enable Levy to pursue an ambitious program that aims to merge two existing fields: semiconductor nanoelectronics and complex oxides. Nanoelectronics have made impressive advances in the last few decades, enabling powerful computing architectures as well as stunning scientific advances that probe fundamental quantum aspects. Complex oxides are materials that exhibit a variety of behaviors such as ferromagnetism and superconductivity, which are important for data storage and medical applications like magnetic resonance imaging. 

“With this fellowship, I will work to combine the successes of these two fields to create new types of nanoelectronics that take advantage of the rich physical behavior of complex oxides,” says Levy.

The NSSEFF program awards grants to top-tier researchers from U.S. universities to conduct long-term, unclassified, basic research of strategic importance to the Department of Defense. These grants engage the next generation of outstanding scientists and engineers in the most challenging technical issues facing the department.

Six others were named NSSEFF Fellows in 2015. The program is sponsored by the Basic Research Office within the Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. NSSEFF supports basic research that may lead to extraordinary outcomes such as: revolutionizing entire disciplines, creating entirely new fields, or disrupting accepted theories and perspectives. It is the Defense Department’s largest single-investigator program.

Levy received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and earned his PhD in physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1993. He joined the University of Pittsburgh as a tenure-stream faculty member in 1996 and has received numerous awards and honors, including two Chancellor’s Distinguished Awards for research—2004 and 2011—and one for teaching, in 2007.