Kortshagen named head of Department of Mechanical Engineering

Professor Uwe R. Kortshagen has been appointed as head of the University of Minnesota's Department of Mechanical Engineering effective July 1, 2008. He replaces James Ramsey, who has served as acting head of the department for the last year.

Kortshagen, a Distinguished McKnight University Professor, has been a faculty member at the University of Minnesota since 1996. He has also served on the graduate faculty for physics, chemical engineering, and materials science and as director of graduate studies for the Department of Mechanical Engineering.8/15/2008

He is an internationally known researcher on partly ionized gases, also known as plasmas. His research has impacted various areas of plasma science and engineering, including plasmas used in microelectronics manufacturing. His more recent work on the plasma synthesis of nanoparticles-small crystals containing only a few hundred atoms-aims to develop new, improved materials for energy-efficient light sources and for highly efficient, low-cost solar cells. The plasma technologies developed by Kortshagen's research group are now being commercialized for the manufacture of solar cells based on silicon nanoparticle inks.

Kortshagen and his students have received numerous honors and his work has been published in more than 85 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has received about 1,400 citations. He currently serves as president of the International Plasma Chemistry Society. He has also received a University of Minnesota Institute of Technology Taylor Award for Distinguished Research and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

Kortshagen received a degree in plasma physics in 1988 and a Ph.D. in plasma physics in 1991 from the University of Bochum, Germany. He came to the United States in 1995 with an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship and spent a year in the Department of Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before coming to the University of Minnesota the next year.