'Spotlight' editor Walter V. Robinson to give Schatt Memorial Lecture at ASU

February 14, 2017

Walter V. Robinson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning editor who led the Boston Globe’s Spotlight investigation into the Roman Catholic Church, is the featured speaker of the 11th annual Paul J. Schatt Memorial Lecture at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Robinson, currently the Cronkite School’s Donald W. Reynolds Visiting Professor, will explore the past, present and future of investigative journalism during a public lecture at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, in the Cronkite School’s First Amendment Forum on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. Walter Robinson Walter V. Robinson, the longtime Boston Globe investigations editor who led the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning report on the Roman Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal, is the speaker at the annual Paul J. Schatt Memorial Lecture at the Cronkite School. Download Full Image

Robinson serves as editor at large at the Boston Globe, where he has worked for 34 years. Previously, he led the Spotlight team, an investigative unit that won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its comprehensive investigation into sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

Under Robinson’s leadership, the investigation brought to light a decades-long cover-up that included the crimes of nearly 250 priests. The probe was made into the film “Spotlight,” which won the 2015 Academy Awards for Best Picture and Original Screenplay.

“Walter Robinson embodies the very best in investigative journalism,” said Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School. “We have seen that first-hand this semester in the way he teaches and inspires our students, and we’re pleased that he’ll be sharing his insights and experiences with the entire school and the public at this event.”

As the Reynolds Visiting Professor at the Cronkite School, Robinson is teaching an investigative journalism class for graduate students and advanced undergraduates. He also works with reporters in Cronkite News, the student-staffed, professionally led news division of Arizona PBS.

Robinson began at the Globe in 1972, where he reported mainly on politics and government. He covered the White House during the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and was the newspaper’s lead reporter for the 1988 and 1992 presidential elections.

Robinson was the roving foreign and national correspondent for the Globe in the late 1990s. Much of his reporting centered on artwork taken by the Nazis during World War II that ended up in American museums. For his work on the illicit trade of antiquities stolen from archeological sites, he received the first-ever Archaeological Institute of America Award for outstanding public service.

In 2007, Robinson became a distinguished professor of journalism at Northeastern University in Boston, and returned to the Globe as an editor-at-large in 2014.

The Cronkite School established the Schatt Lecture series in 2007 in honor of former Arizona Republic reporter, editor and columnist Paul J. Schatt. Schatt also taught public affairs reporting to Cronkite students for more than 30 years as an adjunct faculty member. The series in his name is supported by an annual gift from The Arizona Republic and an endowment created in Schatt’s memory by his widow, Laura Schatt-Thede.

Previous speakers have included Washington Post National Political Editor Steven Ginsberg, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Thomas E. Ricks, New York Times Deputy Editorial Page Editor Carla Robbins, CNN Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter and award-winning investigative journalist and author Mitchell Zuckoff.

Communications manager, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication


Professor's new approach to manufacturing silicon could boost Arizona economy

February 14, 2017

Across Arizona and the U.S., advanced manufacturing propels economic growth.

In 2014, Arizona housed 157,000 manufacturing jobs and exported more than $22 billion in manufactured goods from Arizona-based defense, aerospace, electronics and optics industry companies, according to the Arizona Commerce Authority. Bruno Azeredo displays optical gratings used in microscopes and spectrophotometers. Assistant professor Bruno Azeredo's nanomanufacturing research focuses on the fabrication of silicon because of its potential use in 3-D microscale optical elements, such as the optical gratings used in microscopes and spectrophotometers that he is displaying above. Photographer: Jessica Hochreiter/ASU Download Full Image

“Arizona is a key player in the manufacturing scene,” says Bruno Azeredo, a recently hired assistant professor in manufacturing engineering at Arizona State University.

With support from a $200,000 Science Foundation Arizona Bisgrove Scholar Award, Azeredo is leading a research project that aims to eliminate technical barriers that impose limitations on the productivity of manufacturing industries across the state.

In particular, he is addressing a major limitation in nanomanufacturing: the inability to pattern — or etch — 3-D features directly into silicon at the nanoscale level.

Azeredo is interested in the fabrication of silicon because of its potential use in 3-D microscale optical elements, such as lenses with unprecedented anti-reflective properties and diffraction gratings — for use in spectroscopic, telecommunications and laser applications.

But the cost of fabrication is a big inhibitor to the large-scale production and usage of these devices.

“Silicon 3-D patterning is currently very expensive and inaccessible for several commercial applications. If turned inexpensive, we could manufacture a novel set of optics materials with improved performance to be used in biosensing, silicon photonics and defense imagining systems,” says Azeredo. 

In addition to high cost, the current methods for achieving these features are used successfully to pattern 2-D features, but don’t produce high enough resolution in 3-D.

Azeredo wants to overcome these limitations by automating a new manufacturing technique he invented, known as electrochemical imprinting.

This novel imprinting platform can directly pattern porous silicon and single-crystal silicon in a higher resolution (around sub-20 nanometers), and addresses key challenges that prevent scalable and low-cost processing of nanostructured silicon such as high defect density, low-dimensionality in geometrical control and low-throughput.

His method also relies solely on wet chemistry, bypassing the need for vacuum and cleanroom processing, which lowers the costs of semiconductor processing.

The benefits of this research could boast improvements in the performance of lithium-ion batteries, bio-imaging systems and bio-integrated electronics, micro-optical elements for silicon photonics and thermoelectric energy harvesting.

This project also has the potential to bridge the large gap between science and industry.

“If successful, manufacturing systems developed by this project can potentially eliminate barriers in the electronics, photonics and defense industries, all of which are strongly present in Arizona,” says Azeredo.

He hopes bringing this application into commercial development will help to grow the manufacturing of silicon in an economical and sustainable fashion.

Azeredo is the sixth faculty member in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering to earn a Bisgrove Scholars Award since the program was started in 2011 to recognize and support academics and researchers with the potential to transform ideas into technological advances that offer great value to society.

The transformative power of manufacturing engineering is exactly what sparked Azeredo’s initial interest in the field and also drives his continued commitment.

“Early on, I became fascinated with making structures and materials that the world has never produced before,” Azeredo says.

This led to his interest in the manufacturing processes employed in large-scale production of these structures, specifically in nanoscale smart materials and devices.

“What keeps me motivated is that the complex, 3-D structures I am learning to make and mass produce might have an impact in society,” he says.

It is a long road to make a hardware device, but as Azeredo says, “it all starts with a passion for manufacturing.”


Rose Gochnour Serago

Communications Program Coordinator, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering