Alan Schwartzman has been the director of the NanoMechanical Technology Laboratory for 20 years. There, sophisticated tools are used to measure the mechanical properties of surfaces and very small volumes on the nanometer length scales through mechanical contact. His career to date has centered on the characterization of materials properties on the nanometer and sub-nanometer length scales.
Before MIT, Schwartzman was at Brown University, where he managed its Electron Microscopy Facility in the School of Engineering for 13 years. He has a BA in physics from Hampshire College and an MS in the same discipline from the University of Chicago. His doctoral research at Stanford University focused on interfacial phase stability and defect arrangement between compound semiconductors using quaternary phase diagrams and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. When not in the lab, Schwartzman enjoys hiking, gardening, and traveling.