Press Releases

Arizona State University and Amazon bring first-of-its-kind voice technology program to university classrooms and campus

ASU-specific skill for Alexa, a voice-enabled dorm, student skills developers, and voice application development courses included in the program

Tempe, Ariz., August 17, 2017 Students at Arizona State University this year are taking part in a first-of-its-kind voice technology program on a university campus, with support from the Amazon Alexa team. Download Full Image

As part of the project, students moving into Tooker House, a new state-of-the-art living, learning and working center for engineers, will have a new Amazon Echo Dot and become part of the first voice-enabled, learning-enhanced residential community on a university campus.

In addition, students in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering – the largest engineering school in the country with more than 20,000 students – can sign up for courses that teach new concepts focused on building voice user interfaces, including Alexa skills. Incoming freshmen engineering students will be able to build their own Alexa skills and join the growing community of voice developers.

ASU also will introduce an ASU-specific skill for Alexa to enhance the campus experience for students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Anyone with an Alexa-enabled device can use the A.S.U. skill to get information about the university and the campus.

“It’s about innovation and ensuring our graduates are equipped to play a leadership role as voice-enabled technology becomes part of everyday life in homes, shopping malls, workplaces, and cities,” said Kyle Squires, Dean of ASU’s Fulton Schools of Engineering. “Bringing voice technology into our classrooms and onto our campus reflects our commitment to both the breadth and depth of the student experience at the largest engineering school in the nation.”

“We are excited to work with ASU on this program, which will power their voice-enabled residence hall with Alexa and equip students with the in-demand skills they’ll need when they graduate,” said Steve Rabuchin, Vice President of Amazon Alexa. “The university shares a vision with us for the future of voice, and we believe it’s paramount to engage students in a way that sparks their imaginations and inspires them to build the technology of tomorrow.”

“With voice-enabled devices becoming more prevalent in our connected world, it only makes sense to bring these capabilities to our campus,” said John Rome, ASU’s Deputy Chief Information Officer. “By working with Amazon to create the first voice-enabled campus, we’re furthering ASU’s position as the #1 university in the U.S. for innovation.”

The voice program includes:

  • Three undergraduate engineering courses this semester incorporating voice user interface development, with a fourth course planned for this spring.
  • Voice application development incorporated into the Fulton Schools’ signature Capstone and FURI (Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative) student project programs, as well as its EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) outreach program that pairs students with organizations and people seeking solutions in the community.
  • Engineering students can build their own Alexa skills, both independently and in the classroom, using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) – a collection of application program interfaces (APIs), tools, documentation and code examples – so they can join the growing community of voice developers.
  • Engineering students moving into the new Tooker House residence hall this semester and who choose to participate in the program will receive an Echo Dot.
  • The new Alexa skill, "Arizona State University – Events, Hours & Info" (“A.S.U.” for short), is designed to enhance the campus experience. Users can ask, for example, “Alexa, ask A.S.U. what sports events are happening this weekend?” The Alexa skill is expected to be live August 28.

The voice technology program furthers ASU’s evolution toward a “smart campus,” a vision for a future university setting that combines sensing, connectivity and data analytics to inform decision making, optimize operations and energy efficiency, and create a highly personalized campus experience for every student, professor, staff member and alumnus.

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Password:  tooker

About the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, with more than 20,000 enrolled students, is the largest engineering school in the country, offering 39 graduate and 24 undergraduate degree programs.

About the Fulton Schools Residential Community at Tooker House

Tooker House is a newly constructed, 1,600-person co-ed living, learning and working community for undergraduate students in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, named for ASU alumni and long-time supporters Diane and Gary Tooker.

About ASU Foundation

This program is made possible by the ASU Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization that raises, creates and invests resources for the benefit of Arizona State University while advocating for and advancing ASU’s mission and brand (

About Arizona State University
Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.

Terry Grant, Arizona State University   


communications coordinator, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

Press Releases

Arizona State University unveils new ‘dorm built for engineers’

Tempe, Ariz. Engineering undergraduates moving into a new Arizona State University residence hall this week will find themselves immersed in a collaborative, technology-laden living and learning community built specifically for engineers.

The Fulton Schools Residential Community at Tooker House is a 1,600-person, co-ed residential community for undergraduate students in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. The “dorm built for engineers” features on-site digital classrooms, state-of-the-art makerspaces complete with 3D printers, laser cutters, and design tools needed for a broad range of engineering courses and projects. Download Full Image

“Innovation has a new home address at Tooker House,” says Kyle Squires, dean of the Fulton Schools of Engineering. “This mixed-use living and learning facility sets a new standard in engineering education and reflects the breadth and depth of the student experience at the largest engineering school in the nation.”

Situated in a prominent location on the ground floor of the building, the maker lab allows students to work on class projects and explore ideas steps away from their living suites – essentially in their living room. The lab features sliding glass walls that encourage activities to spill outdoors, where exhibition pedestals enable students to present their work and invite discussion and feedback.

The seven-story, co-ed community was built by American Campus Communities on ASU’s Tempe Campus. The residence hall features a 525-seat dining facility, Bluetooth-enabled laundry rooms that notify you when your clothes are dry, advanced green building technology and enough high speed internet bandwidth to accommodate multiple devices per resident.

Elton Forlemu, an ASU civil engineering sophomore serving as a community advisor in Tooker House this fall, says “the work and study spaces are inspiring.” 

Last year Forlemu lived off campus and spent hours studying and working in engineering classroom buildings, then traveling about 20 miles home to Glendale. He now envisions himself having late-night discussions in Tooker study spaces and then heading to the makerspace or computer lab to collaborate on a project “before it leaves your head.”

Archtectural firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz’s design approach to Tooker House began with traditional desert architecture concepts as a starting point for creating a sustainable building that both feels appropriate to its context and can endure harsh desert conditions. The community features a complementary color palette of desert tones, using colors and materials that will resist fading and degradation under extreme UV exposure conditions.

The building’s most striking feature, hundreds of vertical perforated louvers on the south façade, each positioned according to a sophisticated algorithm, ensures daytime sunlight control unique to each window’s location. Highly efficient glazing with significant shading capacity allow transparency and daylight without detriment to thermal performance and comfort. Metal window canopies and vertical metal louvers additionally shade windows from direct sunlight while preserving views.

“Last year, I watched the building process from skeleton to finished project,” says Forlemu, who aspires to build hospitals and large business complexes. “As an engineer, it was fascinating. What gets me is the infrastructure – there is such great use of space here.”

Tooker House also will play a prominent role as ASU expands its smart campus capabilities, incorporating sensing and energy efficiency analytics and other Inernet of Things (IoT) technologies not only into the building’s operation, but also into the engineering program’s curriculum. 

The new residence hall is named for Diane and Gary Tooker. Diane Tooker is an alumnus of ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College (BAE ’61) and a business owner and former elementary school teacher. Gary Tooker is an alumnus of the Fulton Schools of Engineering (BSE ’62) and a former CEO of Motorola. Together, the couple has made contributions to ASU through the ASU Foundation for more than 30 years, including support for the university’s teaching and engineering programs and the endowed Diane and Gary Tooker Chair for Effective Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Gary Tooker’s contributions to fostering Arizona’s tech sector were recognized with a lifetime achievement award presented at the 2012 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation.

Tooker House is owned and developed by American Campus Communities under the company’s ACE program, a public-private partnership that provides on-campus housing to universities without using their funds or tax-payer dollars. (

About the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, with more than 20,000 enrolled students, is the largest engineering school in the country, offering 39 graduate and 24 undergraduate degree programs.

About ASU Enterprise Partners and the ASU Foundation

ASU Enterprise Partners is a private nonprofit organization based in Tempe, AZ and made up of distinct entities, including the ASU Foundation, that raise, create and invest resources for the benefit of Arizona State University while advocating for and advancing ASU’s mission and brand (

About Arizona State University
Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.

About American Campus Communities

American Campus Communities, Inc. is the largest owner, manager and developer of high-quality student housing communities in the United States. The company is a fully integrated, self-managed and self-administered equity real estate investment trust (REIT) with expertise in the design, finance, development, construction management and operational management of student housing properties. As of June 30, 2017, American Campus Communities owned 160 student housing properties containing approximately 99,000 beds. Including its owned and third-party managed properties, ACC's total managed portfolio consisted of 197 properties with approximately 128,700 beds. Visit

For more information:



Meenah Rincon                       



communications coordinator, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

Press Releases

ASU announces international tech leader as new chief information officer

Tempe, Ariz. (August 7, 2017) - Arizona State University (ASU) has selected Lev Gonick, Ph.D., an internationally recognized leader in innovative technology strategies and solutions, to serve as chief information officer (CIO) starting Nov. 1.

Gonick will lead the University Technology Office (UTO), responsible for providing technology services and support to ASU’s more than 72,000 on-campus students, 28,000 online students and 15,000 faculty and staff. Gonick will report to Mark Searle, executive vice president and university provost; and Morgan R. Olsen, executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer. He will also hold the rank of professor of practice. Gonick will replace current CIO Gordon Wishon, who retires at the end of the year. Download Full Image

“Under Gordon’s exceptional leadership for the past seven years, ASU’s technology office has met the challenges of a growing, globally connected university,” said Searle. “Lev’s vision, transformational leadership style and track record of innovation will support the university in further realizing the potential of technology to empower the ASU community.”

A model for the New American University, ASU relies on its world-class University Technology Office to ensure students and staff have the resources they need to pursue academic excellence in the face of unprecedented technological advancements. The UTO is the hub for ASU’s “smart campus” initiative, which is leveraging internet of things technology, big data and analytics to provide students with a 21st century higher education experience.

Gonick will serve in a consulting role prior to starting in his official capacity. Presently, he concurrently serves as chief executive officer of DigitalC, a nonprofit that catalyzes innovative technology for community impact; and OneCommunity, an award-winning organization he co-founded that enables innovation, collaboration and productivity through next generation broadband networks.

 “We are delighted to welcome Lev to ASU,” said Olsen. “Throughout his professional career he has demonstrated a commitment to innovation, creativity and collaboration that aligns with the university’s efforts to redefine the landscape of public higher education.”

From 2001 to 2013, Gonick was chief information officer at Case Western Reserve University, where he and his colleagues were internationally recognized for technology innovations in community engagement, learning spaces, next generation network projects and organizational development.

Inside Business magazine named Gonick to its Power 100 list in 2015 and Government Technology recognized him as one of the "Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers in Public-Sector Innovation" in 2011. That same year, Crain's Cleveland Business named Gonick one of its "10 Difference Makers" in Northeast Ohio and Broadband Properties honored him with a Cornerstone Award for "using fiber to build an inclusive society and empower individuals." In 2010, he was honored as "Visionary of the Year" by the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors. Gonick has been recognized by ComputerWorld as a Premier 100 IT leader and by CIO Magazine with a CIO 100 Award.

A frequent international speaker and consultant, Lev currently serves on the boards of Luminance, Civitas Learning, DigitalC, Coalition for Local Internet Choice, Jewish Family Services Association, Macromedia University, US Ignite, Groundworks Dance Company, Northeast Ohio Sustainable Community Consortium, OneCommunity and New Media Consortium.

“I have long been inspired by vision and mission of ASU,” said Gonick. “I have the greatest respect for the senior administration and the many faculty and staff I have met on campus. I am genuinely thrilled to join ASU and help chart the ways in which the professional technology community can contribute to the advancement of this innovative university.”

Gonick holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Ohio State University, master’s degree in political science from Binghamton University and Ph.D. in political science from York University.



Katherine Reedy

Office: (480) 965-3779

Cell: (480) 766-6741

communications coordinator, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

Press Releases

Amplification on a chip: Research raises hope for erbium-based integrated photonics device

JULY, 2017, Tempe, AZ -- An Arizona State University researcher has made another breakthrough using the rare-earth metal erbium as the gain material for an optical amplifier, this time with an achievement that will enable its use for the first time with small chip optical technologies. The discovery attains a decades-long goal in the field of photonic integration, in which different small optical components are tightly combined for better performance and ease of fabrication.

Details of the new optical amplification, “Giant optical gain in a single-crystal erbium chloride silicate nanowire,” were published in the July online edition of Nature Photonics. Download Full Image

Cun-Zheng Ning, an ASU electrical engineering professor, and Hao Sun from China’s Tsinghua University, and their teams have succeeded in raising erbium's optical gain from the typical low level of a few dB to over 100 dB per centimeter of propagation. The significant increase in optical gain will make it possible for erbium-based materials to be integrated on a chip for optical amplifiers and lasers.

In 2011, Ning led a team that discovered that particular erbium silicate salt, developed as a nanowire with a slimmer profile, could be an excellent candidate as a photonics amplification material — it allows engineers to pack up to 1,000 times more erbium in optical amplifiers, lasers, quantum information devices, switches and solar power cells. 

Erbium is important for many applications, especially as an optical amplifier buried along with optical fibers for communications across and between continents. The erbium-doped amplifier is an irreplaceable technology in such long-distance communication system.

Scientists and engineers have been trying to replicate the success of signal amplification by erbium on smaller platform, such as on a small chip of an integrated photonic system. Ning’s new research solves the problem that the amount of amplification in a typical erbium-doped fiber is too small, and the required length is too long, for chip-scale integration.

Although it took several years since the discovery of the erbium nanowire technology, Ning, Sun and their team were able to perform a delicate experiment on a single nanowire that revealed the intrinsic absorption coefficient. This process allowed the materials absorption to be measured accurately for the first time, and subsequently establish the extremely high optical gain, about two orders of magnitude higher than previous reported erbium materials.

“We are excited that we finally were able to establish the large optical gain we had predicted for years based on other measurements we have done,” said Ning. “Based of this new single-crystal nanowire technology, our next goal is to integrate multiple devices on a silicon platform for integrated photonic circuits.”

“The next step is to demonstrate an actual optical device such as an optical amplifier or a laser based on the established high optical gain,” said Sun.

Other key contributors to the research are Ning’s former doctoral students, Leijun Yin and Zhicheng Liu, who carried out the early research and have since graduated.


To schedule an interview with Professor Cun-Zheng Ning, contact: 

Terry Grant

Arizona State University Media Relation

(480) 727-4058

communications coordinator, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

Press Releases

Single molecular layer and thin silicon beam enable nanolaser operation at room temperature

JULY, 2017, Tempe, AZ -- For the first time, researchers have built a nanolaser that uses only a single molecular layer, placed on a thin silicon beam, which operates at room temperature. The new device, developed by a team of researchers from Arizona State University and Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, could potentially be used to send information between different points on a single computer chip. The lasers also may be useful for other sensing applications in a compact, integrated format.

“This is the first demonstration of room-temperature operation of a nanolaser made of the single-layer material,” said Cun-Zheng Ning, an ASU electrical engineering professor who led the research team. Details of the new laser are published in the July  online edition of Nature Nanotechnology. Download Full Image

In addition to Ning, key authors of the article, “Room-temperature Continuous-wave Lasing from Monolayer Molybdenum Ditelluride Integrated with a Silicon Nanobeam Cavity,” include Yongzhuo Li, Jianxing Zhang, Dandan Huang from Tsinghua University.  

Ning said pivotal to the new development is use of materials that can be laid down in single layers and efficiently amplify light (lasing action). Single layer nanolasers have been developed before, but they all had to be cooled to low temperatures using a cryogen like liquid nitrogen or liquid helium. Being able to operate at room temperatures (~77 F) opens up many possibilities for uses of these new lasers,” Ning said.  

The joint ASU-Tsinghua research team used a monolayer of molybdenum ditelluride integrated with a silicon nanobeam cavity for their device. By combining molybdenum ditelluride with silicon, which is the bedrock in semiconductor manufacturing and one of the best waveguide materials, the researchers were able to achieve lasing action without cooling, Ning said.

A laser needs two key pieces – a gain medium that produces and amplifies photons, and a cavity that confines or traps photons. While such materials choices are easy for large lasers, they become more difficult at nanometer scales for nanolasers. Nanolasers are smaller than 100th of the thickness of the human hair and are expected to play important roles in future computer chips and a variety of light detection and sensing devices.

The choice of two-dimensional materials and the silicon waveguide enabled the researchers to achieve room temperature operation. Excitons in molybdenum telluride emit in a wavelength that is transparent to silicon, making silicon possible as a waveguide or cavity material. Precise fabrication of the nanobeam cavity with an array of holes etched and the integration of two-dimensional monolayer materials was also key to the project. Excitons in such monolayer materials are 100 times stronger than those in conventional semiconductors, allowing efficient light emission at room temperature.

Because silicon is already used in electronics, especially in computer chips, its use in this application is significant in future applications.

“A laser technology that can also be made on Silicon has been a dream for researchers for decades,” said Ning.  “This technology will eventually allow people to put both electronics and photonics on the same silicon platform, greatly simplifying manufacture.”

Silicon does not emit light efficiently and therefore must be combined with other light emitting materials. Currently, other semiconductors are used, such as Indium phosphide or Indium Garlium Arsenide which are hundreds of times thicker, to bond with silicon for such applications.

The new monolayer materials combined with Silicon eliminate challenges encountered when combining with thicker, dissimilar materials. And, because this non-silicon material is only a single layer thick, it is flexible and less likely to crack under stress, according to Ning.

Looking forward, the team is working on powering their laser with electrical voltage to make the system more compact and easy to use, especially for its intended use on computer chips.


To schedule an interview with Professor Cun-Zheng Ning, contact:

Terry Grant

Arizona State University Media Relations

(480) 727-4058

communications coordinator, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

ASU In the News

ASU director cited in New York Times article about gender

professor's portraitRichard Fabes

The recent article, “How to Raise a Feminist Son”, published in the New York Times on June 1, 2017, takes a closer look at the stereotypes that still exist when it comes to raising boys and girls. The author, Claire Cain Miller, explains how "we’re more likely to tell our daughters they can be anything they want to be, but we don’t do the same for our sons."

For the article, Miller asked neuroscientists, economists, psychologists and others about the latest research and data we have about gender. Among those experts was Arizona State University's Richard Fabes, from the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics. Illustration by Agnes Lee
Download Full Image

Fabes said: "The more obvious it is that gender is being used to categorize groups or activities, the more likely it is that gender stereotypes and bias are reinforced.”

Article Source: New York Times
John Keeney

Communications Manager, T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics


Press Releases

Arizona State University’s photovoltaics program earns six Energy Department SunShot Awards

Tempe, AZ  -- Arizona State University has earned six prestigious U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Awards, totaling $4.3 million, ranking it first among recipients in the Photovoltaics Research category for 2017. 

This year’s awards, which come with grants totaling $20.5 million overall for 28 projects, supports the development of new commercial photovoltaics technologies that improve product performance, reliability and manufacturability. In this round, ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering placed ahead of other leading solar research centers -- the University of Central Florida ($3.18M), Stanford ($1.59M) and Colorado State ($1.28M) each earned two awards. Last year, ASU photovoltaics researchers also received the majority of SunShot PV awards, taking six of 19 and $3.75 million in funding. Download Full Image

SunShot was launched in 2011 with a goal of making solar cost-competitive with conventional energy sources by 2020; the program is now at 90 percent of its goal of $0.06 per kilowatt-hour and recently expanded its target to $0.03 per kilowatt-hour by 2030.

ASU’s Quantum Energy and Sustainable Technologies (QESST) NSF-DOE research center and testbed in Tempe has established ASU’s engineering program as a powerhouse in photovoltaics, playing a key role in SunShot objectives. QESST is the largest university solar research facility in the United States, drawing researchers from around the world in the mission to advance photovoltaic technologies. QESST will continue to play a major role in the photovoltaics industry as SunShot moves to double the amount of national electricity demand provided by solar.

“ASU receiving six DOE SunShot Initiative grants – many more than any academic institution on the awardee list – is a testimony to our faculty’s excellence in building innovative solutions that help power the future in a reliable and cost-effective way,” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, executive vice president of Knowledge Enterprise Development and chief research and innovation officer at ASU.

“For the second year in a row, our faculty won more SunShot awards than any other institution in the country, reaffirming our leadership in the research, development and advancement of photovoltaic science and technology,” said Kyle Squires, dean of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. “Photovoltaics are a key component of tomorrow’s energy solutions and this recognition from the Department of Energy highlights not only our faculty’s research excellence and the inherent value of their ideas, but also the breadth and depth of research in the Fulton Schools of Engineering.”

This year’s award recipients include:

Mariana Bertoni, assistant professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, was granted two awards.

Award One: Spalling, or the process of exfoliating a wafer from a silicon block, has shown promise as an efficient, waste-reducing production method for wafers. Bertoni’s first study is exploring a new spalling technique that relies on sound waves and low temperatures, to mitigate contamination of the wafers, while achieving industry relevant thickness and surface planarity.

“During our previous DOE award we have shown that the technique works; now we need to fine tune the parameters to evaluate the potential for upscaling, said Bertoni. “This could be a disruptive technology with applications well beyond silicon. ”

Award Two: Bertoni’s second project will be studying the correlation between electrical properties, structure and composition at the nanoscale in thin film modules of cadmium telluride and copper indium gallium selenide. The team will be designing a multimodal hard x-ray microscopy approach to probe non-destructively different regions of modules under operating conditions. Detailed characterization could lead the way to improved module efficiency, lower degradation rates and longer warranties.

“Understanding the origin of performance loses and how variations in illumination or temperature affect thin film modules will help us engineer high efficiency, long lasting devices,” Bertoni said.

Additionally, Bertoni is serving as co-PI on Assistant Professor Owen Hildreth’s award (see below) and on a fourth award with Assistant Professor David Fenning of the University of California San Diego to develop a way to detect water present in photovoltaic modules. Using this methodology, the pair hopes to model performance degradation from water exposure.

Stuart Bowden, associate research professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, is designing a novel photovoltaic cell architecture known as M-CELL. This structure is a single silicon wafer, which allows integration and interconnection of multiple cells in series to enable higher voltage and lower current than existing modules.

Owen Hildreth, assistant professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, is researching ways to drastically reduce solar cell cost through the reduction of silver consumption. His project is investigating the how material and growth properties of reactive metal inks impact the reliability of solar cells metallized using these new inks. Hildreth’s work has potential for use both traditional silicon wafer technologies and next-generation heterojunction architectures, which currently employ costly metallization techniques due to temperature sensitivity.

“The solar cell industry currently spends more than $14 billion per year screen printing silver electrodes on the top of solar cells; this project aims to reduce those costs by a factor of 10 and reduce solar cell wafer production costs by 27 percent - making solar energy even more affordable to consumers,” said Hildreth.

Govindasamy Tamizhmani, associate research professor at the Polytechnic School, is investigating new methods for rapid and accurate characterization of photovoltaic modules in operation. Current methods are time consuming, costly and lack the ability to account for differences between lab and field conditions — a vital component to understand the physical causes of performance variation in the field.

“Obtaining string and module I-V curves simultaneously is of great importance to plant owners and service providers to identify the underperforming modules and to determine the degradation rates and module mismatch losses,” explained Tamizhamani.

Meng Tao, professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, is working on a two-layer aluminum electrode to replace its silver counterpart currently used in silicon photovoltaic cells. This could reduce processing expenses and improve device lifetime and reliability while maintaining high efficiency.


Contact: Terry Grant

Office: 480-727-4058


communications coordinator, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

Press Releases

ASU sponsoring students, events at NCLR annual conference

Announcement of chair, robotics display, student mentoring planned

Tempe, Ariz., July 6, 2017 – Arizona State University joins over a dozen corporate and non-profit organizations in sponsoring the 2017 National Council of La Raza annual conference to be held in the Phoenix Convention Center July 8 – 11. Download Full Image

ASU is sending 25 students to the “Lideres Summit” and will co-sponsor with the Si Se Puede Foundation a K - 12 robotics exhibition that will be on display during the conference’s three-day National Latino Family Expo, which is free and open to the public.

As a top national producer of Latino graduates and number one in the Pac-12 conference, ASU has focused intently on the state of Latino education.  Educating Latinos, the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S., is an economic imperative for Arizona and the nation.

ASU’s conference highlight will be the formal announcement of its establishment of the Raul Yzaguirre Chair in the School of Politics and Global Studies within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Academic chairs signify one of the highest honors given to a faculty member and are appointed to conduct designated scholarly work.

Yzaguirre, former president of NCLR, served as a Presidential Professor of Practice at ASU before being nominated by the White House in 2009 to serve as U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic.  Widely respected as a veteran civil rights activist for the Hispanic community, Yzaguirre implemented a number of outreach initiatives at ASU including the American Dream Academy, a program that provides low-income families with the knowledge and tools to make college education a reality.

Dr. Rodney Hero will be the first to serve in the Yzaguirre chair.  Hero is the former president of the American Political Science Association and a leader in the field of racial and ethnic diversity in U.S. politics.  The Yzaguirre chair will be announced during the conference’s opening evening reception on Saturday, July 8, in the Sheraton Grand Phoenix Hotel.    

ASU’s Office of Media Relations can facilitate interviews for news media representatives with any university-affiliated students or staff participating in the conference.  Contact Jerry Gonzalez,, (480) 727-7914, for assistance. 

communications coordinator, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

Press Releases

Adidas and Arizona State University Announce Global Partnership Aimed at Shaping the Future of Sport

New Global Sport Alliance will explore topics including diversity and race, sustainability and human potential through sport  

Partnership includes new Global Sport Institute to translate and amplify new ideas Download Full Image

Click here for video.

PORTLAND, Ore. / TEMPE, Ariz., June 13, 2017 – adidas and Arizona State University today announced the adidas and Arizona State University Global Sport Alliance, a strategic partnership aimed at shaping the future of sport and amplifying sport’s positive impact on society. Bringing together education, athletics, research and innovation, the Global Sport Alliance will explore topics including diversity, race, sustainability and human potential, all through the lens of sport.

Going beyond a traditional athletic partnership, the Global Sport Alliance will harness resources across the entire university and leverage adidas’ global reach. This new, comprehensive partnership connects students, faculty, employees, researchers, engineers and a global network of thought leaders and partners to develop and exchange ideas, undertake joint inquiries and research, inspire people to act on key findings and transform ideas into reality in measurable ways.

“Few things in life bind people together more than passion for and participation in sport,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “adidas and Arizona State University have come together because we have a common commitment to having a real-time, positive impact on the world and we see the power of sport to influence human success. We both seek to empower people, improve health and well-being, and inspire action through teaching, learning and community engagement. ASU, energetically focused on innovation and creative problem-solving, is a ready-made action lab to help extend adidas’ ideas and creative energy.”

The partnership will explore topics including athlete potential, consumer behavior and insight, product materials and innovations, new educational opportunities and more. Investigating the role diversity and race plays in sport, the Global Sport Alliance provides a platform for exploration into fan behavior toward athletes, underrepresentation within coaching ranks and team ownership, bias issues related to officiating, and racial background and how it effects sport participation.

Sustainability is another key theme for the Alliance, which aims to explore the entire lifecycle of sport – where it’s made, played and sold. The Alliance will invite examination into topics such as sustainability education, traceability in product supply chain, the creation of sustainable materials and new recycling solutions.

In addition, the Alliance will investigate health in sports, looking at athletes holistically and exploring how to maximize human potential. One topic adidas and ASU will consider exploring is tailored programs that encompass nutrition, mindset, movement, recovery and product.

“adidas and ASU see the world as a place to be disrupted,” said adidas North America President Mark King. “When you combine the world-class resources of ASU with the global power of adidas, extraordinary things can happen. We’re coming together to test the boundaries of the universe and make quantum leaps in what our future looks like. We’re looking at the world through the lens of sport and exploring things like diversity, sustainability and human potential. Sport is so much bigger than the game. We believe through sport, we have the power to change lives. adidas and ASU have a shared passion for innovation and creativity, for leading change and finding what’s next. With the Global Sport Alliance, we’re on a quest to explore the unknown. We want the whole world to benefit from what we discover.”

A key component of the Global Sport Alliance is the Global Sport Institute (GSI), designed to connect people to the power of sport by translating and amplifying complex sports research to broad, global audiences. GSI will convene public events, engage leading sports figures and publish findings through reports, infographics, podcasts and social media. Kenneth L. Shropshire, an international expert at the intersection of sports, business, law and society, will lead GSI as CEO and join ASU as the Distinguished Professor in Global Sports, a position created by adidas.

“The Global Sport Institute will support collaborative inquiry and research that examines critical issues impacting sport and all those connected with sport,” Shropshire said. “GSI's purpose will be to transform the resulting findings into practical knowledge that is widely shared, educating and influencing audiences.”

The announcement of the Alliance rapidly advances the connection between adidas and ASU, two organizations that epitomize innovation and creativity. ASU was named the nation’s No. 1 most innovative university by U.S. News & World Report in 2015 and 2016, ahead of Stanford and MIT. adidas highlights open source innovation as a top strategic choice in its global business plan, working with partners around the world to increase creative capital, gain new perspectives and make new things. In 2014, the organizations announced a partnership for adidas to be the official brand of Sun Devil Athletics.   

For more information about the Global Sport Alliance, please visit



adidas is a global leader in the sporting goods industry. A designer and developer of athletic and lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories, adidas has the mission to be the best sports brand in the world. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany and Portland, Ore., adidas employs more than 60,000 people across the globe and generated sales of € 19 billion in 2016.


Arizona State University has pioneered a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.


Maria Culp, adidas                                           Bret Hovell, ASU                     

971-234-4003                                                     480-727-1655 

communications coordinator, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

Press Releases

Temperatures rising: The current heat spell is needed for the monsoon


Will this week’s high temperatures make it into the record book? Can we top 122 F? We don’t know yet, but as we move through this extreme heat spell, one thing is for certain, the unpredictability of the weather means records will continue to fall, says Randy Cerveny, an ASU President’s professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. Download Full Image



Cerveny is the Rapporteur on Climate Extremes within the United Nations-affiliated World Meteorological Organization (WMO). He literally is the keeper of Earth’s weather extremes, recording and verifying (or repudiating) weather extremes as they are reported around the world.


Here, Cerveny talks about the current heat spell in the Valley and what it means for the rest of the summer.


Q: Why is it so dang hot right now?

Cerveny: We have a large upper-air ridge of high pressure centered over our area, in essence a large “heat dome.” Because air in a high-pressure ridge sinks and, as it sinks, warms, and is associated with clear skies, we have the opportunity for substantial warming.  Finally, moisture (humidity) in our atmosphere absorbs heat – that’s why places like Florida don’t get up into the 100s.  But presently the atmospheric moisture over Arizona is extremely limited, so the air and ground can heat up – in this case tremendously. 


Q: When and where is the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth?

Cerveny: Death Valley in California officially reached a temperature of 134 F on July 10, 1913.  The next hottest temperature was a temperature in northern Africa of 131 degrees Fahrenheit in 1931.  We are currently evaluating two temperatures of 129 F (in Kuwait last summer and in Pakistan last month) that, if verified, will be the 3rd hottest temperatures ever officially recorded on the planet.


Q: If we were to break the record temperature, does it tell us anything about the way the weather is trending right now?

Cerveny: This actually is the normal time of the year when we have our hottest temperatures — just before the onset of the wet phase of the monsoon. In fact, these hot temperatures are needed aspects for creating the shift in winds that allows moisture to flow up from the Gulf of California and Pacific Ocean. In other words, if it weren’t for these hot temperatures now, we wouldn’t have thunderstorms next month.


Q: Is this a sign of the times, temperatures rising and weather extremes becoming more regular?

Cerveny: Yes, we are consistently breaking more and more “high” temperatures and fewer and fewer “low” temperature records. That consistency in trend is something that has been going on consistently now for several decades.


Q: Is this a sign of global warming?

Cerveny: No, any individual heat wave is not a sign of global warming. But a growing consistency in the occurrence of heat waves (such as mentioned in the last question) is. In other words, as we continue to set new heat records next year and the year after, that is a sign of changing climate.


Q: Why are we fascinated by weather extremes?

Cerveny: I think that our culture has always tended to promote the biggest, the highest, the strongest, etc., and that interest has led to great interest in the extremes of weather. Books from organizations such as the Guinness Book of World Records have always captured the interest of the public. Having been fascinated by those type of books as I was growing up, I find it interesting — and a bit humbling — to now be one of the group of experts that Guinness now calls to verify its own weather records.


Q: Will we see more records fall in the future?

Cerveny: Absolutely. Our climate has changed, is changing and will continue to change, and as part of that, the extremes of climate also will continue to change. With the creation of the WMO’s Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes under the authority of the United Nations (and hosted through Arizona State University), we will continue to officially monitor and verify those extremes.


If you’d like to speak with Randy Cerveny, including through ASU’s in-house HDTV studio, please call or email Skip Derra, (480) 356-3712, or

communications coordinator, Media Relations and Strategic Communications