Zhu and Bain to Lead Prestigious Data Storage Systems Center


March 23, 2005

Carnegie Mellon University appointed professors Jimmy Zhu and Jim Bain to head the globally renowned Data Storage Systems Center (DSSC). Their appointments are effective April 18.

"We are extremely pleased that these two outstanding academic researchers have accepted this new challenge," said Ed Schlesinger, head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department and a former DSSC director. "Research of critical importance to ECE is housed in the DSSC, so I am very supportive of this new management team."

Schlesinger said that both professors bring a cache of excellent skills and experience to the post, including outstanding innovative research in the area of information storage technologies and critical leadership skills for an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

Zhu, who was named director of the DSSC, has been a faculty member in ECE since 1996 and holds the ABB Professor endowed chair in the College of Engineering. He is a co-inventor of the CPP/GMR read sensor patent that won a 1996 R&D 100 Magazine Award. He has either authored or co-authored more than 180 major technical journal papers and five book chapters and given more than 45 invited papers at various major international conferences.

He was the recipient of the 1993 National Science Foundation's Presidential Young Investigator Award and received the McKnight Land Grant Professorship from the University of Minnesota in 1993. He was an Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineering (IEEE) distinguished lecturer in 2004 and he has been on the advisory editorial board for the Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, North-Holland, Elsevier since 1998. He received his B.S. degree in physics from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China in 1982, M.S. degrees and Ph.D. degrees, both in physics, from the University of California at San Diego in 1983 and 1989, respectively.

Bain, who was named associate director of the DSSC, is an associate professor in ECE. He also holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). His research interests are in the area of thin film materials and devices, with a particular emphasis on device physics for non-volatile switching in magnetic, thermomagnetic and semiconductor systems. His work tends to focus on how to deliver energy to very small volumes of material for the purpose of changing the material's state in a reversible but non-volatile way.

He is also involved in research projects and technology roadmapping exercises run by the Information Storage Industry Consortium (INSIC), and he has recently served on the organizing committee of three International Probe Storage Workshops. He holds three U.S. patents and has co-authored more than 90 papers in the fields of magnetic recording, thin film devices and materials. He is a member of the IEEE Magnetics Society and Sigma Xi. He received his B.S. degree in materials science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1988 and his M.S. and Ph.D. also in materials science and engineering from Stanford University in 1991 and 1993, respectively.

About the DSSC

The DSSC is an interdisciplinary research and educational organization where faculty, students and researchers from a broad swath of academic disciplines collaborate in pioneering theory and experimental research that will lead to the next generation of information storage technology. More than 60 Carnegie Mellon researchers are working on a variety of projects designed to advance information storage technology beyond the current frontiers of magnetic recording, optical data storage, probe-based systems, holographic and solid-state memory.

Headshot of Jimmy Zhu

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