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  Michael Saul Isaacson

Michael Saul Isaacson

Narinder Singh Kapany Professor Emeritus


Baskin School of Engineering

Baskin School of Engineering

Narinder Singh Kapany Professor Emeritus



Electrical Engineering
Science Education
Material Science

Remote work location

1500 41st Avenue, suite 220, Capitola, California 95010

By Appointment


  • Michael Isaacson is the Narinder Singh Kapany Professor emeritus, professor of electrical engineering. He was Director of the Center for Sustainable Energy and Power Systems (CenSEPS) at UCSC and Acting Dean of the Baskin School of Engineering at UCSC from 2006 to 2009. He is recipient of numerous awards including a Hertz Foundation Fellowship, a Sloan Foundation Faculty Fellowship, the Burton Medal from the Microscopy Society of America, an Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award, the Rank Prize in Optoelectronics and the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Microscopy Society of America. He is a Fellow of the AAAS and the MSA. He has been President of the Microscopy Society of America and has been elected to the executive board of the Engineering Research Council of the American Society of Engineering Education. In addition, he is on the editorial advisory board of the International Journal of Sustainable Energy Planning and Management. He was the co-chair of the external scientific advisory committee of the NIH National Center for Imaging and Microscopy Research at the University of California at San Diego and was a member of the advisory committee of the National Center for Electron Microscopy at Lawrence Berkeley National laboratory. He was the PI on an NSF-PIRE grant on “US-Denmark Cooperative Research and Education in Intermittency-Friendly Community-scale Renewable Energy Micro-grids”.  Professor Isaacson has a B.S. in Engineering Physics (highest honors) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.S. and PhD in physics from the University of Chicago. He was a staff scientist in the Biology Division at Brookhaven National Laboratory and a faculty member in the Department of Physics, the Enrico Fermi Institute and the College at the University of Chicago. He came to UC Santa Cruz in 2003 from Cornell University where he was a professor of Applied and Engineering Physics, Member of the Graduate Fields of Applied Physics, Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, a member of the Cornell Nanofabrication Facility, Director of  the Keck Foundation Program in Nanobiotechnology and Associate Dean of Research, Graduate Studies and Professional Education in the College of Engineering.


optics, particle optics, microscopy and microanalysis systems, nanofabrication, nanocharacterization, biomedical microdevices, renewable energy systems

  • Nano and microfabrication technology and applications to biomedical and diagnostic devices
  • Nanocharacterization of materials with emphasis on the development of microscopy tools
  • Novel modes of imaging, electron and light optics
  • Renewable energy systems
  • STEM education
  • Sustainability

Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Fellow of the Microscopy Society of America

Rank Prize in Optoelectronics

Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award

Distinguished Scientist Award, Microscopy Society of America



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