James M. Fitz-Gerald

Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Materials science and engineering is a confluence of many disciplines.  At one end of the spectrum, materials science is as fundamental as chemistry and physics.  At the other, materials engineering is integral to the advancement of other engineering disciplines.  Whether in advanced photonic or electronic materials, advanced structural materials, or materials for better biocompatibility, it is a materials world.  As such, there is a tremendous opportunity for my students and me to work on interdisciplinary teams to accomplish a goal that could not be achieved otherwise.  As both a scientist and engineer, my research interests are diverse.  While my main expertise is in experimental materials science, I am not strictly an empiricist.  I enjoy correlating experimental observations with theoretical models and facilitating the generation of new models.  In my mind, making these correlations is the essence of materials science, and once these relationships are discovered, new materials can be designed and theoretical understanding refined.


1. Education

      B.S.                 Mechanical Engineering                                  University of Lowell, 1993

      M.S.                Materials Science and Engineering                  University of Florida, 1995

   Ph.D.               Materials Science and Engineering               University of Florida, 1998

2. Professional Experience

2000 – Present  Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, University of Virginia

1998 – 2000     Post-Doc, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C.




·   Peer - Elected Member of the Executive Committee, Thin Films Division of the

   American Vacuum Society (2005-2007)

·   Undergraduate Teaching Award: June 2001, University of Virginia, Department of

   Materials Science and Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science.


·   Outstanding Science and Presentation Award, 1998 Gordon Research Conference on

   Laser Interactions with Materials, Proctor Academy, NH, June 1998.


·   First prize award in the 4th Annual Engineering Research Center Poster Presentation and

             Science Competition, University of Florida, February 1998.


·   Member of the Student Leadership Council in the Engineering Research Center for

   Particle Science & Technology (ERC) at the University of Florida (1996-1998).


·   Third place oral presentation award, “High Temperature Compression Test

Methodology for Fiber Reinforced Ceramic Matrix Composites”, Acers Meeting, Cocoa Beach, January 1993.


·   A James B. Francis Undergraduate Research Scholar, given for outstanding research and

         design innovation, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, March 1992.








1.      Patent filed University of Florida case number 1847, “Universal Method for Synthesis of  Mono-sized Luminescent Particles”, Inventors: J. M. Fitz-Gerald and R. Singh, May 1998.

2.      International Patent: “Methods for preparing coated drug particles and pharmaceutical formulations thereof”, Inventors: J. Talton, J. M. Fitz-Gerald, G. Hochhaus, and R. Singh, Filed June 1998, claims issued overseas in 45 countries at this time, 2004.  International patent issued # ZA200103829 10-22-2002, Application number: ZA20010003829 20010514 Priority number(s):US19980108847P 19981118.

3.      United States Patent Application #09/856,415: “Methods for preparing coated drug particles and pharmaceutical formulations thereof”, Inventors:, J. Talton, J. M. Fitz-Gerald G. Hochhaus, and R. Singh, Filed June 1998, actions 2003,2004, 2005, claims granted.

4.      International Patent: “Laser Forward Transfer pf Rheological Systems”, Filed by NASA (USA), Inventors: Auyeung Raymond; Chrisey Douglas; Fitz-Gerald James ; Ringeisen Bradley, Pique Alberto; Wu Huey-Daw; Modi Rohit; Young Daniel, Patent # WO02092674, 11-21-2002, Application number  WO2002US14629 20020510, Priority numbers: US20010290400P 20010511; US20020068315 20020208

5.      United States Patent Application #2002019740, December 26, 2002, “Laser forward transfer of rheological systems”, Inventors: Auyeung, Reymond C.Y.; (Alexandria, VA) ; Pique, Alberto; (Crofton, MD) ; Young, Henry Daniel; (College Park, MD) ; Modi, Rohit, Wu, Huey-Daw, Chrisey, Douglas B., Fitz-Gerald, James M.; (Schuyler, VA), Ringeisen, Bradley R., Ser. # 141820, Filed May 10, 2002 by the Naval Research Laboratory, Associate counsel.

6.      International Patent: filed by Nanosphere, Inc., “Methods for Coating Particles and Particle produced Thereby”, International Publication # W00 00/74657 A1, claims issued, USA #6406745.

7.      United States Patent: filed by Nanosphere, Inc., “Methods for Coating Particles and Particle produced Thereby”, US Patent # 6,406,745, June 18, 2002.

8.      Patent disclosure filed University of Florida case number, “ Pulsed Laser Deposited Polymer

      Films onto Stainless Steel for Biomedical Applications”, Inventors: J. M. Fitz-Gerald, K. Rau, R.K. Singh, and E. Goldberg, September 2000, patent currently filed, actions 2001, 2003, pending.


·        Consultant for Insteel Technologies Inc., 2002.

·        Consultant for Discovery Labs Inc, 2001-2003.

·        Consultant for Pegasus Bio, 2005.

·        Consultant for Nanotherapeutics, 2002-2005.

·        Co-founder of Nanosphere, Inc., Nanocoat, Inc., and Nanotherapeutics Inc., Emerging companies specializing in the synthesis of functional coatings and diagnostic testing in the areas of biomedical and electronic materials.

·        Certified user at Jefferson Labs - Free-Electron Laser (FEL) Source.  The program was established to build the FEL (originally called the IR-Demo), a growing partnership of high-technology manufacturers, start-up companies, research universities, government, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the U.S. Navy.

·        Phosphor Technology Center of Excellence, research in the area of functional electronic coatings to reduce phosphor powder degradation for field emission display applications, (1997-1998).

·         Oak Ridge National Labs, characterization and testing of novel nano-structured materials

          for electronic applications, Oak Ridge, TN, (1996-1998).

·         Development and consulting for Motorola-Flat Panel Display Division, Phoenix, AZ,


·         Development and consulting for Westinghouse: Bettis Atomic Power Laboratories, Pitt.,

          PA, (1995-1998).

·         Development of dry powders for Energizer Batteries Inc., Gainesville, FL, (1995-1998).

·         Technical assistance to Textron Specialty Materials with D.O.E. supported  research,

             Lowell, MA, (1992-1993).


Professional Societies Past and Present (* = Active)

*American Vacuum Society (AVS), *Materials Research Society (MRS), *American Physical Society (APS), *The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS), American Society of Materials (ASM), Society for Advanced Materials and Processing (SAMPE)


Professional Academic Service




  • Local Organizing Committee Member, 5th International Conference on Photo-Excited Processes and Applications, to be held in Charlottesville, VA, September 3-7 2006, USA.
  • American Vacuum Society, Chair of the Thin Film Division, 52nd International Meeting, Boston, Mass October 30thNovember 4th 2005.

·        Elected member of the Thin Film Division Executive Committee, 2005-2006.

·        Organizer of a new symposium for the American Vacuum Society on “Focused Beam Stimulated Processing and Fabrication”, International Meeting, November 2004.

·        American Vacuum Society Moderator: Thin Films Division - International Meeting November 2004.

·         Invited Panelist, International Symposium on the Role of Adsorbed Films and Particulate Systems in Nano and Biotechnologies, held at the Particle Engineering Research Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL August 24th-26th.



·        Organizing committee member for National Educators Workshop: NEW Update 2001 Standard Experiments in Engineering Materials, Science, and Technology NEW: Update 2001 hosted at the Materials Science and Engineering Laboratories of NIST, Gaithersburg, Maryland from October 14 through October 17, 2001.

            Academic Research Panels

·        National Science Foundation Panel member: Biomedical Engineering II, September 17, 2004.

·        National Science Foundation Panel member: Major Research Instrumentation programs (MRI) within the Division of Materials Research (DMR), May 11-12, 2004.

·        National Science Foundation Panel member: Biomedical Engineering II, April 7-8, 2003.

·        National Science Foundation Panel member: Biomedical Engineering Phase II, October 8, 2003.

·        National Science Foundation Panel member: Biomedical Engineering I, March 24-27, 2002.

·        National Science Foundation Panel member: Inorganic & Metal Nanomaterials, September 24, 2002.


·        Faculty member of the IGERT SELIM (Simulation of Laser Interactions with Materials) program, Dr. Ian Harrison PI. 

·        AFOSR Reviewer

·        Journal Reviewer:

Applied Physics Letters

Applied Physics A

American Vacuum Society

Materials Research Society

J. of Applied Physics

J. of Physics and Chemistry of Solids

Thin Solid Films