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Chemistry Commencement

William L. Wilson

William L. Wilson

Photo Courtesy of William L. Wilson

The virtual department commencement is set for June 13th, 2021, 1:00pm PDT. View the program.

2021 Commencement Speaker: William L. Wilson, Center for Nanoscale Systems

William L. Wilson, (Bill) Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Center for Nanoscale Systems at Harvard University.  He received a BSc in Chemistry from Saint Joseph’s University in 1982.  In 1981, Bill became part of the Bell Laboratories family; first as a summer research student, (performing work in the Summer of ’81 that lead to his first patent), and later as a Bell Laboratories Cooperative Research Fellow.  Bill graduated from Saint Joseph’s University and moved on to graduate study of Physical Chemistry at Stanford University as a CRFP Fellow and a NSF Graduate Fellow in 1982.  In 1988, he received his Ph.D. degree from Stanford, completing his thesis work in "Coherent Nonlinear Optical Spectroscopy” under the direction of Professor Michael D. Fayer, the David Malvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor in Chemistry.  From the fall of 1987 to 1998, Dr. Wilson was a member of technical staff in the Physical Chemistry Research Department, at AT&T Bell Laboratories and was promoted to Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in 1998 as a member of the Optical Materials Research Department.  In 2001, Dr. Wilson became a founder and Chief Science Officer of InPhase Technologies, Longmont, Colorado, a spinoff company from Bell Laboratories Lucent Technologies, developing High-performance data storage materials and systems, and served in that role until 2009.  In 2009, Bill moved to academia serving as Associate Research Professor in Material Science and Engineering and the Associate Director of the Integrated Imaging Center (IIC) at John’s Hopkins University.  In 2011, Bill joined the Faculty of the Materials Science and Engineering Department, and became the Director of the Central Research Facilities of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  In the spring of 2015, Dr. Wilson assumed the Executive Directorship at the Center for Nanoscale Systems at Harvard University.  Dr. Wilson’s research interests include Quantum nanoelectronic and nanophotonic materials and devices, Bio-inspired functional material systems, and nonlinear and nanoscale imaging and spectroscopy.  Dr. Wilson has published more than 150 papers, co-authored a book on Holographic Data Storage materials and systems, and has been granted more than 35 US and International Patents.


For more information about the University-wide commencement ceremony, please visit the university commencement site.