Nanocharacterization Equipment, Expertise Available to Outside Companies

Spring 2014

A new program has recently been launched to boost the University's industry-friendly mold.

The Industrial Affiliate Program (IAP), headed by Dr. Moon Kim, professor of materials science and engineering, allows outside company representatives to use his state-of-the-art equipment housed in the Natural Science and Engineering Laboratory (NSERL) and faculty expertise. While companies pay for these services, money itself is not the ultimate goal, he said.

Dr. Moon Kim

“We hope to build relationships such that students will be pulled in and hopefully get job opportunities, said Kim, a member of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and the Arts and Technology program. “From a faculty point of view, this is a good opportunity to connect with people inside these companies, many of whom have contracts with federal agencies, to create research partnerships.”

Kim said companies have been asking him for years to use his equipment and expertise when making new advanced devices - to determine if the sample structure is correct, why a device is failing, among other issues. The hiring of research scientist Dr. Guoda Lian from Texas Instruments helps provide the manpower to manage such requests.

Dr. Guoda Lian

“I rejected offers from several Fortune 500 and other companies to join UT Dallas because Dr. Kim’s open mindset and excellent facilities allow me to conduct cutting-edge research and build close connections with local companies,” Lian said.

Companies typically pay a fee to outsource the kind of work done in IAP. While IAP will charge similar amounts for the work, participants in the program will get the added value of faculty consultation.

“Instead of only handing off results for the companies employees to figure out, we will have a continuous dialogue to help them build a better product so they can be more successful in their commercial or research program,” Kim said.

Some of the high-tech equipment companies are most interested in include his nanocharacterization equipment such as the JEOL transmission electron microscope (TEM), field emission scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and focused ion beam (FIB).

Those interested in knowing more about the program should contact Dr. Moon Kim.