Materials Science is a highly interdisciplinary field based on perspectives from physics, chemistry,
electronics, optics and biology. The Center for Materials Research (CMR) at NSU conducts pioneering research in
materials science and engineering and provides graduate education on the master’s and doctoral levels. CMR research
falls into four categories: Optics, Plasmonics and Metamaterials; Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology; Advanced
Functional Materials and Devices; and Semiconductor Materials and Devices. CMR researchers seek to understand
fundamental science and develop new solutions for technical challenges. Through our cutting-edge research
endeavors, internationally known faculty and working relationships with Research I institutions, national
laboratories and the private sector, CMR students emerge equipped and trained in the synthesis and characterization
of new materials and the development of innovative devices.
Dr. Mikhail A. Noginov Receives 2015 Virginia’s Outstanding Scientist Award
Dr. Mikhail A. Noginov was among the 2015 Virginia Outstanding Scientist Award recipients selected by Governor
Terry McAuliffe and the Science Museum of Virginia. Dr. Noginov is a professor and researcher in the Department of Physics and
the Center for Materials Research at Norfolk State University. He is credited for his vanguard research in the
areas of metamaterials, nanoplasmonics, random lasers, solid-state laser materials and nonlinear optics.
His breakthrough contributions to the research of plasmonics include the demonstration of the compensation of surface
plasmon loss by optical gain, stimulated emission of surface plasmon polaritons and demonstration of the smallest
plasmonic-based nanolaser. He is also a leader in exploring metamaterials with hyperbolic dispersion. Dr. Noginov
has authored three books, six book chapters and nearly 400 publications and presentations, including 135
publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Dr. Noginov also received recognition from the SPIE International Society for Photonics and Optics. He was
promoted from Member of the Society to Fellow, one of 58 international members honored with this recognition in
2015. Past accolades include selection as the 2010-2011 Norfolk State University Eminent Scholar and the 2007
Distinguished Faculty Award for Scholarship. He is currently the Principal Investigator of the National Science
Foundation-sponsored Meta-PREM Project (Partnership for Research and Education in Materials), a research, education
and outreach collaboration involving Norfolk State, Cornell, Purdue and University of Michigan.
Dr. Noginov received his Outstanding Scientist award at a presentation within the Science Museum of Virginia on
April 2, 2015.
Click Here to see the video about Dr. Noginov that was
shown at the awards presentation.
Dr. Pradhan Receives SCHEV’s Outstanding Faculty Award
Dr. Aswini Pradhan, professor of engineering, is among
the recipients of the 2015 Outstanding Faculty Awards presented by the State Council of Higher Education for
Virginia and Dominion Resources. The Outstanding Faculty Award is the Commonwealth's highest honor for faculty at
Virginia's public and private colleges and universities and recognizes superior accomplishments in teaching,
research and public service.
Dr. Pradhan joined Norfolk State University in 2003 at the Center for Materials Research and Department of
Optical Engineering in 2007. He is a leading scientist in the field of next-generation novel nanomaterials for
energy, innovative electronics, and optics as well as biomedical applications.
During Dr. Pradhan’s last ten years at Norfolk State University (NSU), he has made outstanding contributions in
teaching, scholarship, and service and received NSU’s distinguished faculty award in scholarship in 2010. In 2011,
he received the prestigious S. Chandra Sekhar Award for Excellence in Science and Technology by the Government of
Orissa, India. Aligned with NSU’s mission and vision, he has not only established a premier research group and
facilities at NSU, but also provided numerous research experiences for students from high school to doctoral level.
Dr. Pradhan has been the Principal Investigator and Director of two Center of Excellence projects funded by the
National Science Foundation (NSF-Center for Nano- and Bio-inspired Materials & Devices), and the Department of
Defense (DoD-Center of Excellence for Advanced Nanomaterials & Devices) totaling $10 million, and PI and Co-PI on
grants from the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense and industries, such as Intel Corp, totaling
about $11 million. He has secured total grant funds close to $21 million.
Dr. Williams Receives SCHEV’s Outstanding Faculty Award
Dr. Frances Williams, associate professor of engineering, is
among the recipients of the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award presented by the State Council of Higher Education for
Virginia and Dominion Resources.
The Outstanding Faculty Award is the Commonwealth's highest honor for faculty at Virginia's public and private
colleges and universities and recognizes superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service. Dr.
Williams is one of 12 recognized statewide. This is the second consecutive year that a Norfolk State University
faculty member received the award. "To be recognized in consecutive years with this honor speaks to the exemplary
quality of faculty at NSU," said President Tony Atwater. "Dr. Williams is an innovator and has been instrumental in
leading our efforts in providing researchers throughout the region with a state-of-the-art user friendly clean-
Dr. Williams has conducted extensive research in the area of acoustic micro-sensors, micro-
electromechanical systems (MEMS) devices and processes. In 2010, she was granted a patent that is expected to save
the semiconductor industry money. Dr. Williams is interim director of the Center for Materials Research and
director of the Micro- and Nano-technology Center (MiNaC), a $6.5 million state-of-the-art clean-room. She is also
the diversity director for the Center for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN) Engineering Research Center (ERC), a
multi-university center that is funded by the National Science Foundation. Since coming to Norfolk State in 2004,
Dr. Williams has been awarded grants that total more than $12 million.
She has been recognized for her research and innovation. Dr. Williams was named an Emerging Scholar by
Diverse: Issues in Education in January 2012. She was honored by Norfolk State University in 2010 with a
Distinguished Faculty Award, receiving the University Award of Excellence—the highest University faculty award at
that time. In 2012, Dr. Williams was recognized by the NSU Board of Visitors for her innovation.
She received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical
State University. Dr. Williams earned the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the Georgia
Institute of Technology where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, Office of Naval Research HBCU
Future Engineering Faculty Fellow, Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science Fellow, and an Alfred
P. Sloan Foundation Scholar.
Rabia Hussain, PhD candidate in the Center for Materials Research (advisor Dr. Natalia
Noginova), was selected as a finalist in the prestigious “Emil Wolf 2013 Outstanding Student Paper Competition”
for the Frontiers in Optics (FiO)-2013 conference. This competition recognizes the innovation, research excellence
and presentation skills of students