Puru Jena’s Group

Dr. Purusottam (Puru) Jena, Distinguished Professor of Physics at Virginia Commonwealth University received B. Sc. (Hons) and M. Sc. in Physics from Utkal University, India in 1964 and 1966, respectively, and Ph. D. in Physics from the University of California at Riverside in 1970. After postdoctoral and visiting appointments at State University of New York, Albany; Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada; University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Northwestern University, Evanston; and Argonne National Laboratory he joined Michigan Technological University, Houghton as an Associate Professor of Physics in 1978. He moved to Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond in 1980 where he was promoted to Full Professor in 1982. Dr. Jena has remained at VCU ever since with the exception of a year (1986-87) as a Program Director at the Materials Science Division of the National Science Foundation, and a year (2007-08) as a Jefferson Science Fellow and Senior Science Advisor at the US Department of State.

Dr. Jena’s research covers a wide range of topics in nano-structured materials, condensed matter Physics, and materials Science. These include structure and properties of metals, semiconductors, superconductors, alloys, liquid metals, point and complex defects, surfaces, thin films, atomic clusters, and cluster assembled materials. His current research is focused on three major areas: Structure and properties of nano-clusters and cluster assembled materials (0 D), nanotubes and nanowires (1D) and mono- and multi layered materials (2D) with emphasis on energy storage; electronic, magnetic, and optical properties. Dr. Jena is the author of nearly 525 papers including 12 edited books. He has given over 425 invited talks in international conferences and academic institutions in 29 countries around the world and has organized 50 international conferences. He has received over $12.5 million dollars of funding from federal agencies such as the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and NASA.

Dr. Jena’s honors include: Presidential Medallion from Virginia Commonwealth University (2011); Jefferson Science Fellow at the US Department of State (2007); David Hare Professorship lecture at the Indian Association for Cultivation of Science, Kolkata, India (2005); Fellow of the American Physical Society (2000); Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (2001); University Award of Excellence (1993) and Outstanding Scholar Award (1987) from Virginia Commonwealth University; and Chair of the Gordon Conference on Metal-Hydrogen Interactions (1993). He has served as a member of numerous scientific panels at the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and Army Research Office. He was a member of the Executive Committee in 2003 that drafted the report on the “Basic Research Needs for the Hydrogen Economy” for the Department of Energy. He has also served on the Virginia Governor’s task force on green energy technologies and on the Presidential Commission on bilateral scientific collaboration between USA and Russia (2011).