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ASU's year in review 2018

December 14, 2018

New partnerships, breakthrough discoveries and student success made it a year to remember

Arizona State University took great strides forward in 2018, cementing partnerships to further student access and success, facilitating groundbreaking scientific research and earning prestigious awards and grant funding. The university snagged its fourth-straight "No. 1 in Innovation" title. It cut the ribbon on Biodesign C. It even renamed a college.

And above all, Sun Devil students, faculty and staff remained committed to serving their community. Here's a look back at the top stories of 2018.


ASU researchers and their teams pushed knowledge forward this year, publishing work in many fields, including microplastic pollution, nanomedicine, the gig economy and man's best friend.

Arizona Impact

From the 100th anniversary of an infamous Arizona shootout to the groundbreaking of an innovative new concept in intergenerational living, ASU is embedded in both Arizona's past and future. This year saw the expansion of ASU Prep, an initiative for resilient cities and powerful steps forward in how we educate our young people. 

ASU News

It was a year of change for the university — though that No. 1 in innovation ranking stayed the same. ASU unveiled the newly renamed Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, introduced Sanjeev Khagram as the new dean and director-general of the Thunderbird School of Global Management and inked a partnership to extend student access to Uber's top drivers.

Sun Devil Life

Campus life at ASU saw a lot of exciting changes in 2018, among them a complex of brand-new living and working spaces for Greek Life members on the Tempe campus, a unified home for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the introduction of Dutch, ASU Police's new puppy who will grow to be a comfort animal for crime victims.


How do online biology students get lab experience? Solved. How does a classic car enthusiast keep his Thunderbird from overheating? Solved. Finding answers to problems facing our community and the world remains a strong focus for ASU's scholars and students.

Global Engagement

Between a stacked lineup of Fulbright and Cambridge scholarship winners, the opening of the Ambassador Barbara Barrett & Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Washington Center at ASU and visits from world-renowned journalists and philosophers, it's no wonder ASU was also named the top choice among public universities for international students this year.


Poetry. Art. Needlework? Sun Devils find creative expression in many forms. This year they found it in music therapy for a senior center, making customized T-shirts at Innovation Day and, for one professor and poet, in a MacArthur "genius" grant.


The entrepreneurial spirit of ASU was off the charts this year: Startups crushed it at Demo Day and the Innovation Open, the university moved up in the global patent rankings and scores of students made full use of ASU resources to launch their products and businesses.

ASU emeritus professor celebrates 90th birthday with international recognition

December 14, 2018

Ernst Bauer, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus in the Physics Department, has been recognized for his lifelong work and his invention of the low energy electron microscope, or LEEM.

The 11th LEEM/PEEM Workshop, a biennial international workshop bringing together participants from 18 countries, dedicated this year’s conference to Bauer in honor of his 90th birthday. Ernst Bauer Ernst Bauer, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus in ASU's Physics Department. Download Full Image

The workshop, held this year in Chongqing, China, at the beginning of November, highlighted the most recent developments in surface microscopy with low energy electrons and related techniques and technologies. Bauer was the featured honorary lecturer of the event, which comprised five days of presentations, poster sessions and workshops. ASU physics Professor John Spence also spoke at the event as a distinguished guest lecturer.

The workshop proceedings will be published as a special issue in the Ultramicroscopy journal as a Festschrift in Honor to Bauer.

Bauer received his master's and doctoral physics degrees from Munich University in Germany. Over the years, he served as the head of several physics programs, both in the United States and Germany, until he was appointed Distinguished Research Professor at ASU.

His interest areas are in surface science and thin films, and he has contributed monumentally to these fields. In 1958, he derived the classification of the thin film growth mechanisms, which he called Volmer-Weber, Stranski-Krastanov and Frank-van der Merwe mechanisms. These provided the framework used to understand epitaxy worldwide to this day. In 1962, he invented LEEM. This unique image surfacing method provides the advantage of observing surface structure and dynamic processes in real space and real time at sample temperatures up to 1500 Kelvin. Subsequent new methods have allowed a comprehensive (structural, chemical, magnetic, electronic) characterization of surfaces and thin films on the 10 nanometer scale.

His work directly or indirectly impacts many areas of modern materials science: surfaces, thin films, electronic materials, catalysis and instrumentation. The invention and development of surface microscopy with slow electrons has revolutionized the study of surface science and thin film science. He has received many honors and served on many boards and committees throughout his distinguished career. Visit his full biography for more details.

Dominique Perkins

Manager of marketing and communications, School of Life Sciences