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Dr. Ben Wang and Dr. Chuck Zhang are making splashes over at Georgia Tech.

Recall Dr. Wang's role while he was at FSU was Director of the High Performance Materials Institute, and left recently to pursue opportunities outside Florida State.

We had discussed his departure previously here:

Link: GT News Release1/23 11:39 AM | IP: Logged

You were on top of this from day one, Helluva. I suspect I know why too.
1/23 2:04 PM | IP: Logged
Shhhhh secrets secrets
1/23 3:37 PM | IP: Logged
I wandered over here looking for interesting conversation.

We visited a friend that works for GT last spring, and he kept mentioning the close ties between FSU and GT.  I had no idea what he was talking about.

This post was edited on 2/24 11:39 PM by bcherod

2/23 10:10 AM | IP: Logged This is really good. It would be nice to see more partnerships like this or at least hear about. Thanks for posting.

Posted from

Posted on 2/23 10:13 AM | IP: Logged

More splashes. Here is another recent one:

This post was edited on 5/22 1:26 PM by NolesClio

5/22 1:20 PM | IP: Logged
This is great...I work over at GTRI (Georgia Tech Research Institute). Good for the rep...
5/22 4:31 PM | IP: Logged

Great stuff.

I wish the ACC brought with it REAL academic cooperation and relationships like would be huge for FSU.  I sometimes wonder if the snobbery of some of the higher rated schools is what limits this aspect of the ACC (which would be ironic given how much they bragged about the academic side of the conferences when working to get GOR signed).

Sorry to side track just feel that is a HUGE untapped resource.
5/23 7:15 AM | IP: Logged

Does FSU have policies/plans for retaining faculty like these? Has FSU ever made efforts trying to keep them?  
6/16 9:38 AM | IP: Logged
This kind of thing usually gets framed in terms of "FSU needs to pay faculty more" but the reality is Wang is a superstar -- we not only lost research money but lost patents and economic growth potential with this guy.  FSU has the money to keep someone like that if it really wants to. 

That said, there have some institutional constraints (which I would argue we need to address at FSU):

1)  Deans and chairs are severely restricted in their ability to make counteroffers, as is the administration, outside of the constraints and procedures the UFF has imposed.  This has gotten worse under Barron, not better.  How can we compete with institutions like Georgia Tech is we cannot negotiate a competitive salary because of limits on the counteroffer pool? 

2)  Wang wanted to hire more faculty in his field and I know he was disappointed with the university's commitment to this - for example I think he was behind one of the original Pathways to excellence cluster hires, but I don't think FSU followed through with the commitments to hire in materials science at the levels he wanted to. 

3)  The shadow lurking over 1) and 2) is of course an engineering college (where Wang had his faculty primary appointment) where FSU does not even manage the basic budget and facilities, and where graduate students have two drivers of the same car.

So basically, another STEM faculty member bits the dust for FSU -- unless you hire senior faculty to replace someone like this (don't see that happening, unfortunately) it is inevitable that we lose ground with a superstar like this jumps to an AAU university.  To see us losing ground when UF is gaining -- they hired a dozen senior engineering faculty in the last year -- is painful for anyone who wants to see FSU improve and be considered one of the state's top research universities.  We need to step it up folks, and the preeminence funding is a great opportunity to do this, but unfortunately we are lacking leadership and management acumen right now. 
6/16 1:27 PM | IP: Logged
I guess we'll have to wait and see what the independent reviewers come back with regarding the CoE split.
6/16 6:26 PM | IP: Logged
Personally, I think it's a mistake to wait and see.  FSU just needs to do what it wants on its own and spend some of our preeminence money for this.
6/16 7:32 PM | IP: Logged
Paul: spot on with your last two posts.

I would argue that Wang was less of a superstar and more of a moderately sized piranha in a table-top fish tank while at FSU. Nows that he's switched institutions and swimming with big fish in a big pond, let's just say he's not eating other fish as much. This, I think, summarizes his leadership style and initiatives he's invested in. He needs more piranhas to tackle bigger fish (enter Chuck Zhang). It would not surprise me if he doesn't stay at GT for long because he is pining for a larger leadership role as "thought-leader".

The undergraduate research experience at GT is a rehash of what FSU is doing for the past couple years (FSU REU and "Retreat"). It's a good program that gets FSU exposure (and NSF $), but puts a lot of strain on the faculty and people running it and is not mission critical to developing world class research. For GT, though, there's a much more robust management structure, so this type of program at the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute does well while supporting other university research objectives.

With regard to the latest PCAST initiatives for creating manufacturing institutes, I would say that neither GT nor FSU are positioned very well, but can play to each other's strengths to compensate. GT has very deeply engrained, traditional engineering tracks because most of its world-renown faculty are older than the dinosaurs. This leaves little room for new faculty hires and new research foci. FSU is desperate to gain engineering traction and prestige for AAU reasons, and should be hiring brand-spanking new faculty in research fields like materials to bolster its stronger research areas. This is why some GT grads have made their way to FSU as COE faculty in recent years, and why GT has partnered with FSU in proposals like the National Addititve Manufacturing Institutes (didnt win) and likely for NNMI for lightweight composites. This is the one where FSU likely has the greatest chance of winning HUGE research dollars, but will likely depend on whether more university partnerships can be made. UCF is underrated on how good a partnership it would be, as they have many many strengths in computing and other materials engineering applications.

Anywho, long story short, it's a mixed bag right now. Some good, some bad, but big potential impact on FSU in the coming months.
6/22 10:05 AM | IP: Logged
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