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Dr. Emanuel Waddell Joins JSNN to lead the Department of Nanoengineering

GREENSBORO, N.C. (July 18, 2022) – Following a national search, the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) has named Dr. Emanuel Waddell as Chair of the Department of Nanoengineering effective August 1, 2022.


Dr. Waddell brings a wealth of experiences that are necessary for the Department of Nanoengineering’s future growth. He has spent the last 3 years as a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation. His responsibilities at NSF have included overseeing the Chemical Measurement and Imaging (CMI) program, the NSF Centers for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program, and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities- Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP).



Dr. Waddell has been on the faculty at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) (a R1 University) since 2004. At UAH, he served in a leadership capacity as Associate Dean in the College of Science. In addition, he was the President for the Alabama Academy of Science, and UAH campus director of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program. Furthermore, he served as President of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), an organization with a membership of over 1000 chemists, chemical engineers, and STEM professionals. As NOBCChE President he was responsible for leading and raising funds for the organization, building partnerships with federal agencies and industry, and creating pathways for success of STEM leaders.


“During his interview, he demonstrated a vision for the department that will enable us to successfully contribute to the University’s mission toward becoming a very high research activity doctoral institution. The general agreement amongst the students, faculty, and staff at JSNN, as well as the NC A&T administrators is that he is going to be an excellent addition to JSNN and to North Carolina A&T State University. His experiences will help us elevate the quality of graduate education, increase the number of graduates, attract new sources of research funding and forge new and strong collaborations to strengthen our research mission. We are excited to welcome him to the JSNN family,” said Sherine Obare, Dean of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering.


 “I am excited to join the Department of Nanoengineering at JSNN. I look forward to working with Dean Obare, the faculty, staff, and students as we continue to distinguish our department as a leading program in North Carolina and in the United States. This is a tremendous opportunity to contribute to North Carolina A&T’s goal of becoming a Research I institution and I am honored to be a member of the leadership team that will guide the department in its next phase of growth,” said Waddell.  


Dr. Ralph Rogers has been Chair of the for the past 18 months and worked with the Dean to successfully steer the Department through the pandemic. During Dr. Roger’s leadership, enrollment in the department grew by 19% and funding increased by 25%.


Waddell obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA), a Master of Science degree from the University of Rochester, and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree from Louisiana State University. His doctoral research area focused on the design, construction, and application of near infrared time-correlated single photon counting devices with applications in DNA sequencing. He also utilizes laser ablation and uses this technique to modify, characterize and study polymer substrates as well as design microfluidic (lab-on-a-chip) devices. These research areas are well aligned with work ongoing at JSNN and are complementary to the micro- and nano-devices program. Furthermore, he has a keen interest in science and engineering education and in studying strategies to increase the success of underrepresented students in STEM graduate programs.


The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) is an academic collaboration between North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) and The University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNC Greensboro). A $56.3 million, 105,000 square foot state-of-the-art science and engineering research facility, JSNN builds on the strengths of each institution to offer innovative, transdisciplinary graduate programs in the emerging areas of nanoscience and nanoengineering.,” to indicate its relationship with the two universities.