Sharon Weiss
Professor of Electrical Engineering, Physics, and Materials Science
Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Engineering
Director, Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering
Vanderbilt University

December 2019

Alumni Focus

Sharon Weiss is Director of Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, a multidisciplinary institute that supports research, education, and K–12 outreach across science, engineering, and medicine. A native of Rochester, NY, Prof. Weiss received B.S. (1999), M.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2006) degrees from the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. Weiss' Ph.D. thesis was supervised by Prof. Philippe M Fauchet. She received a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship from the Office of Navy Research and a Robert L. Sproull Fellowship from the University of Rochester to support her graduate research. Her research also benefitted from use of the LLE laboratories and collaboration with the LLE scientific staff including Ken Marshall and Prof. Stephen Jacobs.

Weiss is a fellow of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers and the Optical Society of America as well as an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Photonics Society Distinguished Lecturer. She has been awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the Army Research Office Young Investigator Award, and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award. In 2016, her excellence as an educator was acknowledged with the Vanderbilt School of Engineering's Excellence in Teaching Award.

Weiss' research focuses on photonics, optoelectronics, nanoscience and technology, and optical properties of materials. Particular areas of interest include fundamental studies of light–matter interaction and photonic applications of nanomaterials, including the detection of small biomolecules in silicon and nanoporous silicon-based optical structures, and the ultrafast modulation of optical signals using hybrid silicon-VO2 ring resonators. Weiss also studies porous silicon nanoparticles and their applications for drug delivery.