Arash Mafi has been appointed as the interim director of The University of New Mexico's Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM). Mafi is an associate professor of Physics and Astronomy.

Mafi's research interests include quantum and nonlinear behavior of optical waveguides, and light propagation in disordered media with applications in optical image transport. 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 over the next year 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.

“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 has served as the director of CHTM since 2013. Krishna was recruited by The Ohio State University and accepted an endowed chair position in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department. A competitive search for the permanent position is planned for later this year.

The mission of CHTM is to create and sustain a culture of excellence to promote research and education in photonics, microelectronics and nanoscale materials and devices and their application, foster interaction between UNM, federal laboratories, industry and promote an entrepreneurial spirit for economic development with a regional focus but of global importance.