Arash Mafi takes on new leadership at UNM as Interim Director for CHTM

July 27, 2016 - From the UNM Newsroom

Arash Mafi, Interim Director of CHTM

Arash Mafi

Associate professor of Physics and Astronomy Arash Mafi has taken on a new leadership role at The University of New Mexico as interim director at the Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM).

Mafi's research interests include quantum and nonlinear behavior of optical waveguides, and light propagation in disordered media with applications in optical image transport. Mafi is the leader of the Photonics Research Group at UNM. Additional information about his research is available on his website.

“I am thrilled that Professor Mafi has accepted the position of Interim Director of CHTM,” UNM Vice President for Research Gabriel Lopez said. “He brings a wealth of experience in both academia and industry. I look forward to working with him as we continue to advance the research mission of CHTM.”


Mafi received his undergraduate degree in Physics from Sharif University of Technology in Iran, and his master's and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from The Ohio State University. Following his postdoctoral appointments at the University of Arizona in Physics and The Optical Sciences Center, he joined Corning Inc. as a Senior Research Scientist working on optical fibers and liquid crystal displays.

He moved to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2008, where he was an associate professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, before joining The University of New Mexico in 2014. He was a recipient of an Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation in 2013.

More recently, Mafi is a Co-PI for a project awarded $7.5 million over a five year period, announced by the US Department of Defense in April 2016. Distinguished Professor Mansoor Sheik-Bahae (Physics & Astronomy) is the Principal Investigator for the project, "Multi-disciplinary Approach to Radiation Balanced Lasers” (MARBLE). The MARBLE project is a collaborative effort between the team at the University of New Mexico and scientists at the Los Alamos National Labs (LANL), Johns Hopkins University, the University of Washington and the University of Notre Dame. The DoD’s Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative program (MURI) is a highly competitive program that awards carefully chosen multidisciplinary research.

“I am deeply honored and humbled by the support of the UNM administration, CHTM faculty, staff, and students and the opportunity to lead this world class research center in the interim,” said Mafi. “I look forward to working with UNM administration, deans, department chairs, and other center directors to ensure that CHTM retains its core strengths and can expand into new research areas.”

He replaces Sanjay Krishna, who served as the director of CHTM from 2013 until July 2016. Krishna accepted an endowed chair position in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at The Ohio State University. A competitive search for the permanent position is planned.

This post is largely excerpted from the article posted in the UNM Newsroom.