Designing Life, a New Engineering Discipline for the 21st Century

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Friday, October 11, Giedt 1003, 12:10pm-1:00pm

Speaker: James N. Hollenhorst
Agilent Technologies

Host: Professor Erkin Seker


The technological revolution of the last half century was driven by the advance of semiconductors and the design of integrated circuits. While this was happening, the scientific foundation of the next great technological revolution was being laid, as well as the beginnings of a new discipline, genetic engineering. In the last decade, genetic engineering has evolved dramatically, borrowing heavily from the tools and techniques of the semiconductor industry to create the nascent field of “synthetic biology.” I will describe this new engineering discipline, draw parallels between the revolutions in electronics and biology, discuss applications, and give a glimpse into the future enabled by this ability to design living things


Jim serves as Senior Director of Technology reporting to Agilent’s Chief Technology Officer. He was formerly Vice President and Director of the Molecular Technology Lab in Agilent Labs and Director of R&D and Technology Management for Agilent’s Life Science and Chemical Analysis Business. Prior to that, he was Vice President and Director of Electronics Research for Agilent Labs. Before joining HP in 1990, he was with Bell Laboratories, where he worked on high-speed electronics and optoelectronics. He is a former member of the Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics, a Fellow of the IEEE, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He was Chair of the Advisory Board for Physics Today magazine, has served on many other industrial, academic, and government advisory boards and is currently on the selection committee for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, which is presented by the President. He also serves on the board of directors of Gen9, a leader in DNA synthesis technology. He received a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University.

Speaker contact information

* Please contact Erkin Seker , if you would like to meet the speaker.

About the seminar:
This seminar is part of the Fall EEC 290 seminar series and is open to all.