Jonathan E Spanier received a BA degrees in physics and music from Drew University in Madison NJ, received the PhD with Distinction from Columbia University in 2001 in applied physics (condensed matter) with Professor Irving P Herman. He completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in physical chemistry at Harvard University with Professor Hongkun Park prior to joining the Drexel faculty in 2003. He is presently a professor in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering and holds an affiliated faculty appointment in the Department of Physics. Since 2011 he is Director of the University’s Centralized Research Facilities. He served as associate dean for the College of Engineering, leading development of the College’s 2013-18 Strategic Plan. He also served as Interim Associate Department Head for MSE from 2006-08 and as the University Provost Fellow in 2009. Prior to completing the PhD, Professor Spanier held research and technical staff positions at the US Naval Research Laboratory in physical acoustics and in the semiconductor device industry (Kulite, Inc.), and he was a visiting lecturer at the Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, in 2001.
Professor Spanier investigates the structure, chemistry and physical and electronic properties of complex oxides, and their thin-film growth. In particular, he studies new polar oxide and other perovskites for efficient and low-cost photovoltaic solar energy conversion. With colleagues from Penn, Spanier co-invented the first semiconducting absorber that possesses a compositionally-tunable band gap spanning the visible spectrum and is simultaneously polar for promoting carrier separation without a junction. Spanier and his group also study atomic layer deposition and the epitaxialization of perovskites from amorphous films. Professor Spanier’s group also applies a variety of experimental methods, including laser and Raman scattering spectroscopy, and scanning proximal probes. Professor Spanier received the US Army Research Office (ARO) Young Investigator Award in 2004, the Nano-Bio Interface Innovation Award in 2005, and the Outstanding Research Award in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at Drexel for 2007. In 2007, Professor Spanier was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for 2006 at the White House. He was an Office of Naval Research Summer Faculty Fellow in 2010, and received the Distinguished Service Award from the Louis R Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in 2013, and he was named a Louis and Bessie Stein Family Fellow in 2013. In 2014 he has been awarded a Japan Trust International Research Cooperation Fellowship from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology to work as a visiting scientist at Fujitsu Laboratories, Ltd.
Professor Spanier currently serves as the Director and PI for the GAANN for Renewable Energy Technology and Infrastructure Networks (RETAIN) and for Engineers as Global Leaders in Energy Sustainability (EAGLES) at Drexel, US Dept. of Education-supported projects. His research is currently supported by the NSF, the Army Research Office, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Office of Naval Research, the Nanoscale Research Initiative of the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC). His work has also been supported by Air Products Corporation, MITRE, and Structured Materials Industries, Inc. Professor Spanier is a member of the American Physical Society, the American Chemical Society and the Materials Research Society.