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Liesl Folks (1984)

Liesl Folks holds a BSc (Hons) and a PhD, both in Physics, from The University of Western Australia.  Upon graduation she joined the faculty at UWA as a Teaching and Research Fellow, with research interests in the domain of time dependent phenomena of novel nanoscale permanent magnet materials.  In 1997, she spent time at IBM Almaden Research Center in California as a Visiting Scientist, and in 1998 she became a Research Staff Member with IBM.  During her years there, she was engaged in fundamental research to support to the magnetic data storage business, including advancing magnetic force microscopy imaging capabilities, exploring techniques to make nanoscale bit-patterned media, and processing optimization to support the introduction of Magnetic Tunnel Junction (MTJ) sensor technologies into product.  When IBM sold its Hard Disk Drive business to Hitachi in 2003, Folks moved to Hitachi to continue in related research.  In 2003-2004, she briefly left the world of research to obtain an MBA degree from Cornell.  During her time with Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, and later with Western Digital, she researched innovative magnetic field sensors created from non-magnetic materials, and on advanced development projects related to conventional magnetic recording media.  In 2012, Folks returned to academia, and she now serves as Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University at Buffalo.  She was President of the IEEE Magnetics Society for 2013/2014.