University of Pennsylvania
Professor and Nano/Bio Interface Center, Director
Dawn Bonnell is a Trustee Professor of Materials Science at the University of Pennsylvania and the Director of the Nano/Bio Interface Center. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan and was a Fulbright scholar to the Max-Planck-Institute in Stuttgart, Germany, after which she worked at IBM Thomas Watson Research Center. She has authored or coauthored over 200 papers, edited several books. Her work has been recognized by the Presidential Young Investigators Award, the Ross Coffin Purdy Award, the Staudinger/Durrer Medal from ETH Zurich, the Heilmeier Faculty Research Award and several distinguished lectureships. Professor Bonnell serves on many editorial boards, national and international advisory committees, is a past president of AVS, served on the governing board of the American Institute of Physics, and is a past vice president of the American Ceramic Society. She is a fellow of the Am. Cer. Soc, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the AVS. She is the founding Director of the Nano/Bio Interface Center, which is a cross disciplinary organization that involves faculty from the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Medicine, Wharton, and the Graduate School of Education.
The research in the Bonnell group focuses on atomic processes at surfaces. The group is known for the first imaging of atoms on oxide surfaces, a result that generated a new field involving groups around the world and impacting catalysis, nanofabrication and materials growth technology sectors. More recently her group developed a new paradigm for fabricating nanostructured devices, Ferroelectric Nanolithography, and discovered a new mechanism for harvesting light energy. . An additional outcome of this research program has been the invention of new probes that reveal the behavior of small structures.
As the founding director of the Nano/Bio Interface Center Dr. Bonnell generated new research programs that cross disciplinary boundaries, linking engineering and life science in a two-way exchange that advances our understanding of interactions at the interface of physical and biological systems. Resulting technologies include chemical and biochemical sensors including DNA sequencing, in situ and ex situ probes of cellular processes, new technologies for nanoscale visualization. The NBIC has been an innovator in educational programs, developing new curricula for Nanotechnology Degrees to support the development of a workforce for the next decade of innovation.