Materials science expert Robert Hull will join Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, N.Y., in early 2008 to head the School of Engineering’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the institute announced this week. He will also be named the Henry Burlage Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. Hull will join RPI after 13 years with the University of Virginia, where he is the Charles Henderson Professor of Engineering in the school’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Hull also directed the university’s Institute for Nanoscale and Quantum Science and its Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. Hull is best known for his research into fundamental growth mechanisms of semiconductor films and nanostructures, and for his work in exploring potential applications of these structures to future nanoelectronic devices, work he will continue at RPI. Hull received his BS in physics and his doctorate in materials science from Oxford University. He previously worked as a researcher at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Hewlett Packard Laboratories, including a visiting associate professorship as the NEC Chair at the University of Tokyo in Japan. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the European Academy of Sciences, past president of the Materials Research Society, and has chaired several conferences. Hull's research interests include degradation modes in electronic and optoelectronic devices, the properties of dislocations in semiconductors, nanoscale fabrication techniques, nanoscale tomographic reconstruction techniques, development of new nanoelectronic architectures, and the theory and application of electron and ion beams.