spanier [at]

Jonathan E Spanier

Professor of Materials Science & Engineering
Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering (affiliated)
Professor of Physics (affiliated)
Fellow, American Physical Society
Associate Dean, College of Engineering
Drexel faculty since 2003

Accordion Tab

Jonathan E Spanier received BA degrees in physics and music from Drew University in Madison NJ, and the PhD with Distinction from Columbia University in 2001 in applied physics 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 Professor of Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) and he holds affiliated faculty appointments in the Department of Physics and in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. He serves as Associate Dean in the College of Engineering, led development of the College’s 2013-18 Strategic Plan, From 2011-17 he was Director of the University’s Centralized Research Facilities. 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, and he was a visiting lecturer at the Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, in 2001.

Professor Spanier investigates the structure, physical, electronic and dielectric properties of emergent solid state electronic materials. He probes the interactions of light with matter, including Raman scattering revealing phase stability, the effects of symmetry and nanoscale phenomena on photovoltaic energy conversion, and electronic excitations and resonant phenomena. Materials systems under study include complex oxide bulk crystals and thin films, and their surfaces. Spanier and his group also study the solid phase epitaxy enabling formation of high-quality oxide perovskite films via atomic layer deposition.  He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses, including solid state science; electronic, optical and magnetic properties of materials; lattice dynamics; numerical methods; materials characterization; mechanical properties; and the introduction to materials science & engineering for all sophomore engineering students. He also co-developed and co-taught the course Art of Being a Scientist for first-year MSE PhD students, based on the popular title by Larner and Snieder.

Professor Spanier received the US Army Research Office (ARO) Young Investigator Award in 2004, the Nano-Bio Interface Innovation Award in 2005, the Outstanding Research Award in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at Drexel for 2007, and the 2014 College of Engineering Excellence in Research Award for his discovery of new sustainable energy conversion materials for light harvesting technologies. 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 was 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 participated by invitation in the National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering at UC Riverside in 2014. In 2016 Spanier was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, Division of Materials Physics.

Spanier College Faculty page

Dr. Radhe Agarwal

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

PhD in Physics, University of Puerto Rico
MS in Applied Optics, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

Kausheya Basu

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Majoring in Physics and in Materials Science and Engineering
Class of '19


Andrew Bennett-Jackson

PhD Candidate in Materials Science & Engineering

BS in Chemical Physics, University of Virginia

Aaron M Burger

PhD Student in Electrical Engineering

MS in Applied Physics, Towson State University
BS in Physics, Virginia Tech

John Carroll

PhD Student in Electrical Engineering

BS and MS in EE, Rowan University

Dr. Matthias Falmbigl

Associate Research Professor, Materials Science & Engineering

PhD Chemistry, University of Vienna
Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Oregon

Dr. Vladimir M Fridkin

Professor, Shubnikov Institute of Crystallography, Russian Academy of Sciences

Visiting Professor of Physics and of Materials Science, Drexel University

Dr. Irina Golovina

Associate Research Professor, Materials Science & Engineering

PhD and Doctor of Sciences in Solid State Physics

Institute of Semiconductor Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Dr. Zongquan Gu

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

PhD, Electrical Engineering, Drexel University

BS in Materials Science & Engineering, Shanghai University

Deng Arop Kuol

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Majoring in Physics
Class of ‘22


Sergey Nisnevich

PhD Candidate in Physics

MS in Physics, University of Pennsylvania
BS in Aerospace Engineering, Boston University


Alejandro Gutierrez-Perez

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Majoring in Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics

Aleksandr Plokhikh

PhD Student in Materials Science & Engineering

BS and MS in Materials Chemistry, Moscow State University

Anthony Ruffino

PhD Candidate in Physics

BS in Physics, Rochester Institute of Technology

Alexandria Will-Cole

PhD Candidate in Materials Science & Engineering

BA in Physics, University of Arizona

Geoffrey Xiao

Staff Scientist

B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering

Minor in Computer Science and in Mathematics
Class of ‘18