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New Faculty Spotlight: Shamsul Arafin

Dr. Shamsul ArafinAs a boy, Shamsul Arafin wondered how all the electrical appliances worked in his home. How did the electricity flow through the wires? Nature fascinated him as well. How did lightning appear in the sky?

“All of these questions and that curiosity led me toward electrical engineering,” he said.

Today, with a collective research history contributing to both military and public applications, Arafin joined The Ohio State University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering program this July as assistant professor. He will help advance the university’s ongoing  Discovery Themes Initiative.

While earning his undergraduate degree, Arafin said he truly began to understand how no other scientific disciplines are as universal or influential as electrical engineering. From there, he sought out the most promising pathway to making a difference in the world.

“Out of several disciplines within electrical engineering, I had the impression after my masters program that optics and photonics are the most emerging areas that can drastically improve the quality of our human lives in the 21 century," he said.

Arafin specifically joins Ohio State’s Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability (M&MS) Discovery Theme, led by professor Steven Ringel at the Institute for Materials Research. The M&MS Discovery Theme is an effort at Ohio State to create pre-eminence in materials and technologies for sustainability, focusing on new ideas and industry deployment.

The new assistant professor's research interests center around III-V compound semiconductor technology for materials and devices: molecular beam epitaxial growth and characterization of materials, as well as realization of photonic devices using these materials. 

Simply put, Arafin's future research at Ohio State is taking basic materials, leading them into more efficient and advanced processing technology through device physics and design, as well as device development and characterization. He said the goal is to build complex photonic integrated circuits and the associated subsystems, with applications in both society and defense fields.

Prior to joining Ohio State, Arafin worked as a project scientist in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He received his BS degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh in 2005 and his MS degree in Communication Technology from Universität Ulm, Germany, in 2008.

Arafin earned his Ph.D. at Technische Universität München, Walter Schottky Institut, Germany in 2012. He then joined the Nanophotonics Group of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at McGill Universityas a Postdoctoral Fellow. He also worked as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of California at Los Angeles, CA. Arafin is a senior member of IEEE and Optical Society of America.

With a career journey leading him around the world, Arafin said, Ohio State is an ideal place for him to continue his research and grow.

“One of major motivating factors is its brilliant faculty within the ECE Department,” he said. “I will work with them very closely. I was really amazed to see the shared but unique and amazing research facilities and capabilities that could facilitate and help to accomplish my research goals.”

Another factor that sealed the deal for him is the nearby Ohio State College of Medicine.  

“It’s one of the best medical schools in the United States,” he said. “Since my future research at Ohio State is highly interdisciplinary, lying in the intersection of electrical and computer engineering, applied physics, medicine and material science and engineering, the presence of this medical school will help me to conduct my interdisciplinary research effectively.”

Learn more about Dr. Shamsul Arafin HERE