University of Rochester

Alumnus Named Top 100 Young Innovator

June 26, 2000

A University of Rochester graduate has been named a Top 100 Innovator by MIT's Technology Review magazine for his work on creating new superconducting materials. Amit Goyal is now working at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, developing materials that allow electricity to pass through wires much more efficiently than current technology allows.

The University has long been known for its research into superconductors, and when Goyal first came to the University from India, a whole new generation of superconductors was just being created. Goyal majored in material science to learn more about superconductors and immediately set about working to improve the technology.

"Amit was always a wonderful student," says Steve Burns, professor of mechanical engineering and one of Goyal's advisers. Paul Funkenbusch, associate professor of mechanical engineering and another of Goyal's advisers adds, "He was amazingly intelligent and aggressive in his research." After earning his Ph.D. in materials science in 1991, Goyal continued his superconductor research at Oak Ridge.

The MIT panel, which includes several Nobel Prize winners, recognizes people under 35 that have made the most important breakthroughs that year. Goyal received the award for his development of a layered, textured superconducting material that in tests has passed electricity with no resistance at all. If completely successful, the material may make many devices that rely on electricity work more efficiently.

"If someday you're buying superconducting wire, there's a good chance it'll be Amit's design," says Burns.