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Adam Fontecchio

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Director, Center for the Advancement of
STEM Teaching and Learning Excellence (CASTLE)
Affiliated Faculty, Materials Science and Engineering

Office: One Drexel Plaza, Room 231
Phone: 215-895-2047
Personal site: Drexel Nanophotonics+ Lab

B.A., Physics, Brown University
M.S., Physics, Brown University
Ph.D., Brown University (2002)

Research Interests

Electro-optics; liquid crystals; polymer dispersed liquid crystals; holography; remote sensing; color filtration; electrically switchable Bragg gratings


Dr. Adam Fontecchio is a Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Drexel University, and is the inaugural Director of the Center for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning Excellence (CASTLE). He has held leadership positions including Vice-Dean of the Graduate College at Drexel University, Vice-Chair of the IEEE Philadelphia Section, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering at Drexel University. His research focuses on the area of nanophotonics. He has served as PI or Co-PI on 53 funded grants with over $33M in sponsored research or foundation funding, and publication of >110 peer-reviewed articles. These metrics include both technical research and educational research/programs.

He was selected as the 2015 Delaware Valley Engineer of the Year, and is also the recipient of a NASA New Investigator Award, the Drexel Graduate Student Association Outstanding Mentor Award, the Drexel University ECE Outstanding Research Achievement Award and the International Liquid Crystal Society Multimedia Prize.

Adam has a long, active history of educational and outreach activities. He is currently PI on an NSF STEM GK12 grant focused on integrating the NAE Grand Challenges into high school curricula, a grant that funds 10 graduate student Fellows each year, and is also PI on a Department of Education GAANN grant. He was also the PI on an NSF Nanoscale Undergraduate Education award (NSF EEC-0532499). Dr. Fontecchio is a Co-PI on four NSF awards including his position as Director of Graduate Fellows on a previous NSF GK-12 award (DGE-0538476), which funded 13 graduate fellows from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds (8 women and 5 minorities out of a total of 21 GK-12 Fellows) and his role as Co-PI on an NSF Discovery K-12 grant. Some of his other educational activities include serving as Senior Investigator in the Drexel NSF IGERT Program (with more than 45 Fellowships having been awarded), Senior Investigator on 2 NSF REU programs; Senior Investigator on 2 NSF RET programs; mentoring more than 10 high-school students in his research lab through the Drexel Summer Mentorship Program; serving as Project Manager for the Rhode Island Council on Education’s Project Comet Chasers (an activity which earned the PI a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from the US House of Representatives and a Citation of Excellence from the RI House of Representatives); and working with inner city students in the Brown University/NSF/MRSEC Urban Scholars Training Institute.