Robert M. Mehalso ’64 is an internationally recognized expert in the field of nanotechnology. His work made possible the high-volume micro/nano-manufacturing processes that are used to create fuel injection nozzle structures, inkjet print heads, medical diagnostic devices, and the CD-ROM. Mehalso has more than thirty years’ experience in academics and industry. In 1989, he established this country’s first corporation dedicated to the commercialization of nanofabrication. Within four years, it grew to more than 200 employees. His company, Microtec Associates, provides nanotechnology consulting services to more than a hundred clients in industry, academics, and government on every major continent. He co-founded a $100 million venture fund, which was the first fund to focus on nanotechnology.
In 1999, Mehalso and his wife, Liz, endowed the Robert M. and Elizabeth Q. Mehalso Scholarship at Penn State Behrend. Since its inception, the scholarship has supported twenty-two student awards. The couple also funded the construction of the Mehalso Observatory, which offers hands-on learning opportunities for astronomy and physics students as well as star-gazing at the very popular Open House Nights in Astronomy. They are members of the Mount Nittany Society, the Glenhill Society, and are lifetime members of the Penn State Alumni Association.
Mehalso began his education at Penn State Behrend before completing his bachelor’s degree in ceramic science at University Park. He also holds a master’s degree in metallurgy and a doctoral degree in materials engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The Mehalsos live in Fairport, New York. They have two children, son Christopher and daughter Joy Miller.