Professor Elisa Riedo elected to the prestigious Academy of Europe

Elisa Riedo

Elisa Riedo, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and director of Tandon’s PicoForce Lab, has been elected to Academia Europaea (The Academy of Europe), an organization dedicated to excellence in scholarship in several branches of human endeavor, including mathematics, medicine, and all areas of natural and technological sciences for the public benefit. 

Riedo — who is also a professor of physics at the NYU College of Arts and Science and an affiliated professor of mechanical engineering, as well as Tandon’s director of faculty development — was elected as a foreign member of the Academy’s Section on Physics and Engineering Sciences on the basis of her key contributions in the field of nanoscience. 

Riedo is well-known for her pioneering work in thermal scanning probe lithography (tSPL), a novel and sustainable nanofabrication technique with applications in biomedicine, nanoelectronics, and magnetic materials. Among other advancements, tSPL has made it possible for orthopedic researchers to not only create artificial bone tissue that precisely matches the real thing, but to do so in such microscopic detail that it includes tiny structures potentially important for stem cell differentiation, which is key to bone regeneration.

In addition to tSPL, the Academy specifically cited her discovery of the exotic viscoelastic properties of nano-confined water, the development of novel atomic force microscopy methods to study the elastic properties of nanomaterials, and the first observation of the exceptional mechanical properties of diamene–single layer diamond obtained from pressurizing graphene. 

Riedo’s current research at the PicoForce Lab is aimed at developing even more novel scanning probe microscopy-based methods for fabricating the next generation of electronic and biomedical devices, as well as for further groundbreaking studies of the mechanical, physical, and chemical properties of novel nanomaterials, including 2D materials and bio-interfaces.

“Although I am thrilled to now be based in Brooklyn, one of the world’s fastest-growing hubs of technology and innovation, I have deep ties to Europe,” Riedo, a native of Italy, said. She attended the University of Milano, where she graduated summa cum laude in 1995, with a B.S. in Physics, and went on to earn her doctoral degree in that same discipline in 2000, in a joint program between the University of Milano and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France, before completing a post-doctoral fellowship at École Polytechnique Fédérale Lausanne (EPFL), in Switzerland.  

Riedo often collaborates with researchers around the world, and recently, she and colleagues from the International School for Advanced Studies; the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy; and Prague's Charles University worked together to discover a fundamental friction law that is leading to a deeper understanding of energy dissipation in friction and the design of two-dimensional materials capable of minimizing energy loss. The work is expected to lead to more efficient manufacturing processes, greener vehicles, and a generally more sustainable world.

“My election to the Academia Europaea is a great honor that reflects upon not only my own research but the international community’s commitment to scientific exploration and technical advancement,” she said. “I am proud to join the Academy’s 2023 cohort of new members.”

“I was thrilled to learn of Elisa's recent election to the Academia Europaea,” Dean Jelena Kovačević said. “Her scholarship and research span disciplines from physics to mechanical engineering to material science and more, and her role as director of faculty development demonstrates her dedication to fostering future generations of professors and researchers at NYU Tandon.”