Michelle Povinelli

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering-Electrophysics and Physics and Astronomy
Email povinell@usc.edu Office PHE 614 Office Phone 213-740-8682

Research & Practice Areas

nanophotonics, solar energy, optical trapping, microfabrication, optical characterization


Michelle L. Povinelli joined the USC faculty in 2008 as an Assistant Professor and held the WiSE Jr. Gabilan Chair. She was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2014. She is the recipient of an Army Young Investigator Award, a NSF CAREER Award, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. In 2010, she was selected for the TR35 award by Technology Review Magazine, which honors top innovators under age 35. Dr. Povinelli earned a BA with Honors in Physics from the University of Chicago, an M. Phil in Physics from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She did postdoctoral work at Stanford University in the Department of Electrical Engineering.  She was awarded several graduate fellowships, including the Lucent Technologies GRPW Fellowship, the NSF Graduate Fellowship, the MIT Karl Taylor Compton Fellowship, and the Churchill Fellowship. In 2006, she was one of five national recipients of a $20,000 L’Oréal For Women in Science Postdoctoral Fellowship award. She has co-authored more than sixty refereed journal articles and co-invented three US Patents.