Drndić and Rappe Named to Endowed Chairs in Penn Arts and Sciences

February 21, 2017

Dean Steven J. Fluharty is pleased to name two faculty members to endowed chairs in Penn Arts and Sciences.

Marija Drndić has been named the Fay R. and Eugene L. Langberg Professor of Physics. Drndić is a leading nanoscientist who developed a novel method, Transmission Electron Beam Ablation Lithography (TEBAL), for fabricating sub-nanometer devices such as transistors and nanopores. Allowing for the manipulation and analysis of individual molecules, these devices hold great potential for rapid sequencing of DNA and extremely sensitive detection of proteins, among other applications. Her other groundbreaking basic research on optical and electrical transport effects in semiconductor quantum dots has implications for rapidly detecting trace amounts of contaminants and for developing a replacement for light-emitting diodes, photodetectors, and other nanoelectronic applications. 

The impact and promise of Drndić’s early work at Penn has been recognized by a Presidential Early Career Award, the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator’s Award, a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, a DARPA Young Faculty Award, and an Alfred P. Sloan fellowship.  In addition to her service as Graduate Chair of Physics and Astronomy, Drndić is committed to science education, creating research opportunities for high school students in her lab as part of the Penn Summer Science Academy and doing physics outreach education at Greenfield Elementary School. She is also a recipient of the School’s Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Award for Distinguished Teaching by an Assistant Professor and a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

The Langberg chair was established through the bequest of Eugene L. Langberg, CCC'42, G'45. Langberg was an electrical physicist who held positions at the U.S. Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C., and at the Franklin Institute. He later was elected as a commissioner of Upper Gwynedd Township, Pennsylvania.

Andrew M. Rappe has been named the Blanchard Professor of Chemistry. Rappe is a renowned theoretical chemist whose research has advanced and shaped developments in energy, electronics, sensors, and catalysis.  His pioneering theoretical and applied research in the fields of photovoltaics, catalysis science, and ferroelectrics has led to the development of enhanced materials and accelerated the pace of discoveries that hold great promise, particularly in fields related to sustainable energy. 

Rappe is a fellow of the American Physical Society and founding co-director of the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER) and Pennergy. His record of service also includes chairing the University’s Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility and the Penn Arts and Sciences Planning Committee on Energy, Sustainability, and the Environment, and he is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, the University’s Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, and the College Alumni Society’s Charles Ludwig Distinguished Teaching Award.

The Blanchard chair was endowed in 1907 with a gift from Anna, Harriet, and Maria Blanchard to advance research and study in the Department of Chemistry.