28 June 2008

Physicist Hill tapped to lead Magnet Lab's EMR program

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Longtime Magnet Lab collaborator Stephen Hill has accepted a position as director of the Electron Magnetic Resonance (EMR) user program and as an FSU physics professor, cementing a relationship that has been building since Hill's postdoctoral work with the lab nearly 14 years ago.

Hill comes to the lab from the University of Florida, where he was an associate professor of physics and a Magnet Lab affiliate. He said he's looking forward to strengthening the connection between his own considerable international base of collaborators and the Magnet Lab's established user community.

"My first stop in the U.S. after my Ph.D. was Tallahassee, when I spent two years working with Jim Brooks. I've been coming back ever since," said Hill, who received his doctorate from the University of Oxford. "I look forward to both helping to integrate those communities more fully and to conducting my own research, which fits in very well with what's going on at the lab," said Hill.

Hill added that the academic ties between the universities make the transition a smooth one. "Both schools are strong in ways that complement one another, and I hope to have a hand in expanding what could be a very fruitful dialogue."

Said Magnet Lab Director Gregory Boebinger of Hill, "Steve's got a great vision for the future of EMR, and we see his knowledge of UF physics and chemistry as an opportunity to further cement the collaborative relationship that's been growing for some time."

A search committee led by outgoing Interim EMR Director Peter Fajer tapped Hill for the leadership position. Magnet Lab Director Gregory Boebinger said he's grateful for Fajer's leadership over the past two years.

"I give my heartfelt thanks to Peter for his service as interim director when we needed him most, during which time he and his colleagues returned the Mag Lab's EMR program to prominence and great promise," said Boebinger.

Fajer said he's pleased with Hill's hire. "Steve was recognized by a committee of international experts as a leader in the physics of ultra high field EPR. His expertise will allow us to perform experiments at the highest available magnetic fields of 45 tesla, and to develop the free electron laser, an ultra-bright light source that represents the future of microwave and infrared spectroscopy."

Hill's official start date is Aug. 8, 2008.