Prof. Sang-Hyun Oh Receives Distinguished McKnight University Professorship

Prof. Sang-Hyun Oh (Sanford P. Bordeau Chair in Electrical Engineering) has received the University of Minnesota’s Distinguished McKnight University Professorship for 2019. The award recognizes the achievements and contributions of outstanding mid-career faculty whose careers have developed and flourished at the University. Recipients hold the title of Distinguished McKnight University Professor for as long as they remain at the University of Minnesota. They also receive a grant of $120,000 to be used over five years to support their scholarly and research activities. 

Scientist and Inventor

In his lab, Oh leads a multi-disciplinary team of researchers working at the intersection of nanotechnology and life sciences toward developing new tools for scientific discovery processes.  Oh’s expertise includes nanofabrication, biosensors, nano-optics, and microfluidic biotechnology. He has collaborated with Prof. David Norris (now at ETH Zurich) to develop a new technique called “template-stripping” for the manufacture of ultra-smooth patterned metals. This method is widely used by many researchers to produce atomically smooth metal films and ultra-sharp metal tips for applications involving nano-optics, biosensors, and graphene devices.

Oh’s team has demonstrated a new method called atomic layer lithography that can create ultra-long atomic-scale gaps at the wafer scale. The resulting structures open the door to carrying a series of new experiments at the nanoscale for investigating fundamental physics as well as for developing practical biochemical sensors and optoelectronic chips. Seven of his former PhD students and postdocs are currently tenure-track faculty members at universities in the US, Korea, and India. Many of his former group members are also working in high-tech industry.

Awards and Honors

Oh is the recipient of several awards and honors, all of which point to his commitment to research and passion for breaking new ground. Early in his career he was the recipient of the 3M Faculty Award (2008), the American Chemical Society New Investigator Award (2009), and the UMN Initiative for Renewable Energy and Environment Early Career Award (2010). Most recently, he was the recipient of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award, the DARPA Young Faculty Award, and the NSF CAREER Award, all in 2011. In 2016 he was awarded the Sanford P. Bordeau Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering. Prof. Oh’s prolific research, and outstanding contributions to engineering and its applications will have long term impact. His scientific techniques have been adopted by other researchers, and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is proud of his accomplishments. We congratulate Prof. Oh on being awarded the Distinguished McKnight University Professorship.

Prof. Sang-Hyun Oh earned his doctoral degree in Applied Physics at Stanford University, worked at Bell Labs, Agere Systems, IBM Microelectronics, and University of California at Santa Barbara. He joined the University as faculty in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2006.

Administered by the Office of the Executive Vice-President and Provost, the Distinguished McKnight University professorship awards are made possible by generous donations from the McKnight Foundation.