For newly minted Ph.D.s, choosing where to plant their academic roots can be an overwhelming decision. It shapes the direction of their research, where they live, and with whom they collaborate. The choice is also key for universities, which rely on recruiting top faculty to attract the best students.
That’s why the Technion has long made faculty recruitment a priority. Donor-funded initiatives such as The First Steps Program, endowed Chairs, and the new Faculty Recruitment Fellowship Program allow the Technion to stay competitive with elite peers in the U.S.
Despite the pandemic, the Technion recruited 36 new faculty last year, including some who could not turn down the chance to return to their alma mater.
After becoming a celebrity all-star tutor on campus, with undergraduates watching her videos long after graduation, Assistant Professor Arielle Fischer ’11, M.S.’13, Ph.D.’16, joined the Technion faculty in October 2020. She is the first undergraduate alumna of the Technion’s Faculty of Biomedical Engineering to return as a faculty member.
As head of the Applied Biomechanics and Wearable Technology Lab, she aims to broaden the applications of mechanical engineering concepts and technologies for patients suffering from musculoskeletal injuries and pain syndromes. Collaborating with hospitals, sports organizations, and the military, she and her team work to develop smart and user-friendly rehabilitative devices.
“I’ve always wanted to come back to the Technion,” said Prof. Fischer. “I am happy to be back, to start my own lab, and to be part of such a great institution and community.”
She started her studies at MIT before transferring to the Technion where she completed all three of her degrees. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University, the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program supported her return by funding her laboratory.
Alon Grinberg Dana
Assistant Professor Alon Grinberg Dana ’10, Ph.D.’15, was the first student enrolled in the interdisciplinary graduate studies program in the Nancy and Stephen Grand Technion Energy Program (GTEP). Today, he has come full circle, returning to the Technion and GTEP as a member of the Wolfson Department of Chemical Engineering.
“I was filled with many burning research questions to pursue,” he said. “There was only one place where I would feel truly at home and have the privilege of working with excellent people towards finding answers.”
Prof. Grinberg Dana’s Fundamental and Applied Chemical Kinetics research group develops technology to predict reactive chemical systems, such as pollutant levels in alternative fuels or the shelf life of a new drug — reducing the number of experiments needed to understand a new system. After earning his Technion degrees, Prof. Dana conducted postdoctoral research at MIT as a fellow of the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program. His work has also received support from longtime American Technion Society supporters Dr. George Elbaum and Ed Satell.
Three years after joining the Technion, Assistant Professor Ido Kaminer ’07, Ph.D. ’14, won the prestigious 2021 Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists, for influencing fundamental physics research with real-world applications. The award recognized Prof. Kaminer for transforming our understanding of the quantum nature of light-matter interactions and developing technologies that could be applied to medical imaging and security scanning.
His wide-ranging work also includes: the development of an ultrafast transmission electron microscope, research on the use of UV light to kill the coronavirus, and the Ramanujan Machine — a “conjecture generator” that creates mathematical conjectures considered the starting point for developing mathematical theorems.
“The Technion allowed me to pursue an extremely ambitious research dream. This pursuit is now paying off and leading to important discoveries,” he said.
Prof. Kaminer heads the Robert and Ruth Magid Electron Beam Quantum Dynamics Laboratory in the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is a third-generation Technion alumnus and conducted postdoctoral studies at MIT as a Technion–MIT Fellow.
Professor Daniella Raveh ’92, Ph.D. ’99, divides her passions between research and teaching. What better place to do that than in the faculty from which she graduated?
“The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering has always been home for me,” said Prof. Raveh. “I get to work with students in different frameworks, to really know them, and to make a positive effect on their lives.”
Prof. Raveh focuses on aeroelasticity, the study of aerodynamic forces acting on flexible structures. Bringing the concept to life with her students, she guided them in designing, building, and flying a 3D-printed, “green” experimental plane. As the Faculty’s undergraduate studies coordinator, she established a joint academic and military excellence program to promote leadership in R&D departments of the Israeli Army.
After earning her Technion degrees, Prof. Raveh conducted postdoctoral studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology before returning to the Technion. She has received the Yanai Prize for Excellence in Academic Education, and her daughter is a Technion
student in the class of 2022.