Pierre Wiltzius, the Susan and Bruce Worster Dean of Science at UCSB, has been elected to the board of directors of the Materials Research Society, an international organization of nearly 16,000 material researchers from academia, industry and government working in physics, chemistry, biology and engineering.

His three-year term will begin in January 2010.

Wiltzius, who is also a professor of physics in the College of Letters and Science, has extensive experience in academia and the private sector.

Befpre his appointment as dean of science at UCSB, he was the director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and professor of materials science and engineering, and physics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign from 2001 to 2008.

He joined Lucent Technologies-Bell Laboratories (formerly AT&T Bell Laboratories) in 1984, where he most recently was the director of semiconductor physics research. Wiltzius was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physics at UCSB from 1982-84.

“It is a great honor to be elected to the MRS Board,” Wiltzius said. “As a large and globally diverse organization of scientists from a broad spectrum of disciplines, it can play an important role in communicating the relevance of materials science to the well-being of mankind. Many important societal problems, including renewable energy, sustainable environmental practices, human health, communications technologies, use of resources and technologies for developing countries, need solutions that will invariably have new materials at their core.”

Wiltzius’ research interests include soft condensed matter and complex fluids, e.g., polymers, colloids and liquid crystals. His current research is focused on developing new fabrication techniques for photonic crystals, including colloidal self-assembly and multibeam interference lithography. He also was involved in the development of plastic transistors on flexible substrates for various applications, including electronic paper.

At UCSB, Wiltzius is the dean of 11 science departments with 280 faculty members and 25 percent of the campus’ undergraduate and graduate students. One of the strengths of UCSB is its interdisciplinary collaboration between the sciences and engineering, and Wiltzius is leading several new cross-campus initiatives.

MRS publishes a number of publications including the MRS Bulletin, the Journal of Materials Research and the MRS Online Proceedings Library. MRS also organizes high-quality scientific meetings to facilitate interactions among a wide range of experts from the cutting edge of the global materials community.