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Leland Nordin’s educational and professional journey has taken him to almost every directional extreme in the contiguous United States. He grew up in the northern state of Minnesota before attending Grinnell College in nearby Iowa where he earned a bachelor’s degree in physics. He moved south to the University of Texas in Austin where he earned master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical and computer engineering. He then headed west to California to complete a postdoctoral research fellowship at Stanford University’s Geballe Lab for Advanced Materials. His latest move has brought him east to central Florida where he has landed at UCF to lead a research team and help prepare students for careers in technology.

The primary focus of Nordin’s research lab will be on the growth of semiconductor materials and optoelectronic devices. Specifically, the advancement of quantum-limit devices, as well as the creation of ultra-low-loss structures and systems for quantum information science. He plans to utilize a comprehensive design methodology that encompasses active components and innovative high-index materials for passive components.

“The critical mass of great researchers at CREOL is unparalleled,” said Nordin. “I’m eager to collaborate with my new colleagues and contribute to the pioneering research and technological advancements coming out of UCF.”

When not in the lab, Nordin will be in the classroom teaching students in the optics and photonics degree programs as well as materials science and engineering.

“The growth of new technology, especially in the semiconductor industry, is being amplified by the federal CHIPS Act,” said Nordin. “My goal as a professor is to help graduate really great students to help fill industry needs.”

Nordin is the third recent hire for CREOL which plans to add about seven more faculty over the next year. The added faculty are needed to keep up with CREOL’s student enrollment growth as UCF focuses on fueling the talent pipeline for the tech industry.

“Companies are crying out, saying they could double their business if they could just hire more employees,” said David Hagan, dean of the College of Optics and Photonics. “A tremendous amount of work and planning has been done to make sure CREOL students are poised to help fill that demand.”

Written by Christine Wydra