Eric Garfunkel is the vice president for global affairs at Rutgers. He is responsible for the university’s internationalization efforts, including study abroad and global education, crosscultural and global programming, development and support of international relations and partnerships, and services for visiting students and scholars. He is also a distinguished professor of chemistry and physics.
During his 30 years at Rutgers, Garfunkel played a leading role in the formation of the multidisciplinary Laboratory for Surface Modification and later the Institute for Advanced Materials, Devices and Nanotechnology — interdisciplinary centers that focus on atomic scale design and manipulation of materials and devices. He also served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. His recent research has focused on the synthesis and characterization of materials that can be used for alternative energy (solar and battery) and nanoelectronics. He has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Semiconductor Research Corporation.
Garfunkel has held visiting professorships in Germany, China, Italy, and France. He is currently deeply involved in developing global partnerships and research collaborations with African universities, and he has helped lead the international activities of the Materials Research Society for over a decade.
Garfunkel earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Berkeley in 1983 and his bachelor’s from Haverford College in 1978. Before coming to Rutgers, he was a postdoctoral fellow at University of Paris-Sud in Orsay, France, and at Fudan University in Shanghai, China.