CMRR 20th Anniversary

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of CMRR, a truly landmark event in the history of industry-university partnerships at UC San Diego. In recognition and celebration of this event, CMRR has established the Sheldon Schultz Prize for Excellence in Graduate Student Research. The Prize is named in honor of former CMRR Director, Sheldon Schultz, who skillfully guided the Center from November 1990 through August 2000. The Schultz Prize recognizes CMRR graduate students who have distinguished themselves through the creativity of their research and the impact of their publications. CMRR's goal is to endow the Prize so that it can be awarded annually and in perpetuity. (Donations are welcomed)

At the Anniversary Banquet on May 6th, Geoffrey Beach and Kai-Zhong Gao were announced as the first Schultz Prize winners. The first Schultz Prize was awarded jointly to Geoffrey Beach, a member of Prof. Ami Berkowitz's Magnetic Materials and Devices group, and Kai-Zhong Gao, who recently received his Ph.D. degree from Prof. Neal Bertram's Magnetic Recording Physics and Micromagnetics group. The awards were presented at the 20th Anniversary Celebration dinner, May 6, 2003.
Geoffrey Beach completed his Ph.D. dissertation on "Magnetic Properties of CoXFe100-X Metal/Native Oxide Multilayers." In his research, Geoff has pioneered a new, and very successful, approach to developing multi-layer thin films suitable for use in the design of recording heads and disks capable of operating at extremely high data transfer rates and storage densities.
In addition to their potential technological value, these materials represent an entirely new type of magnetic material, making their analysis a subject of basic scientific importance. To characterize these multilayer films, Geoff has very creatively utilized a wide range of measurement techniques. In collaboration with Ami and with Prof. Sunil Sinha, he recently conducted the first experiments on Asterix, a unique new apparatus for neutron diffraction and reflection at LANSCE - the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center. These experiments were highlighted by the Los Alamos National Laboratory on their website (and also in the last issue of our CMRR newsletter).
The nomination and endorsement of Geoff for this award noted that Geoff has established an impressive number of fruitful collaborations with scientists in academia, government research labs, and industry, and cited his creativity, initiative, dedication, and his enthusiasm for research.

Kai-Zhong Gao recently completed the defense of his doctoral dissertation, entitled "Optimization of Write Heads and Media for Ultra High Density and Data Rate Magnetic Recording", and recently joined Seagate Technology in Bloomington, Minnesota. In his research, Kai-Zhong used micromagnetic analysis to investigate novel configurations of recording heads and magnetic media that address the grand challenge of achieving storage densities of one trillion bits of information in one square-inch of disk area. His creative approach to the problem resulted in two exceptionally innovative ideas: a novel tapered-pole write-head and a recording technique based upon "tilted perpendicular" recording media.

Kai-Zhong's analysis and simulation studies indicate that these techniques have the potential to overcome several problems that presently impede the attainment of densities in excess of 200 Gbits/ sq. in. and his work has stimulated great interest in the data storage industry.

The statements endorsing Kai-Zhong's nomination for this prize cited his deep understanding of magnetic recording, his talent for research, and his influential publications that together set a standard for evaluation of novel recording systems.

CMRR Distinguished Alumni Awards were also presented at the anniversary dinner, to Christopher Lacey and Kelly Knudson Fitzpatrick.

Chris Lacey, a graduate of Frank Talke's group, received his Ph. D. in 1992 with a dissertation entitled "The Head/Tape Interface." After graduation Chris founded Micro Physics, a company that specializes in instrumentation for the data storage industry. Chris is cited for his "striking" research in mechanics, including his innovative experimental techniques. Currently he is named on 12 patents as either the inventor or co-inventor.

Kelly Knudson Fitzpatrick received her Ph. D. in 1994 form Jack Wolf's group. As part of her thesis, "Detection and Error-Correction for Partial response Channels" Kelly devised a simplified algorithm for reliable detection of data from magnetic recording channels. When Kelly joined Quantum (now Maxtor) she extended this "post-processing" idea and was granted an important patent on this invention.

For more information visit the CMRR Website:

Dr. Gordon Hughes

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