By  Materials Science and Engineering

UVA Engineering is pleased to announce that Kory Burns, Ph.D., has joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering as a rising scholar research scientist, with a promotion to assistant professor of materials science and engineering on August 1, 2024.As a research scientist, Burns is working on research projects at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is using electron spectroscopy to quantify the chemical composition at the interface between two electronic materials in an effort to bring new device designs to scale for integrated circuits. He is also working on a project sponsored by Microsoft to study the interface strain in topological qubits for quantum computers. Burns will also visit UVA at least once each semester to participate in professional development activities and networking. In addition, he will collaborate with faculty on future research proposals and prepare his lab and research team for his faculty appointment. Burns earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering - Nuclear Engineering from the University of Florida. Along the way, Burns conducted research at Sandia National Laboratories, Texas Instruments, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Google (GSoC), and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. He focused on a range of projects, from studying the local strain in SiGe heterojunction bipolar devices, to combining in situ TEM with machine learning for automated defect characterization in structural materials. “UVA Engineering has world-class characterization tools, a wonderful collection of faculty members and an exceptional body of students,” Burns said. “The decision to join UVA was a no-brainer, as the foundation built in the department is set to propel my career into academe.” The appointment fulfills Burns' dream of becoming a professor. “It is an enticing career path because of the intellectual freedom it provides in research, the opportunity to mentor students, and the chance to share my love for science through teaching in a classroom environment,” Burns said.