IEEE Members Make Headlines: July 2016

A member shares advice for budding entrepreneurs, and a Fellow receives an award for mentorship

28 July 2016

Member Noubar Afeyan was profiled in Forbes magazine about his strategy for identifying and funding biotech startups that have become successful.

Afeyan is CEO of Flagship Ventures, a firm in Cambridge, Mass., that has launched more than 40 startups and invested in dozens of additional businesses. One of the companies in Afeyan’s portfolio is Moderna Therapeutics, a biotechnology business in Cambridge that produces innovative protein-based therapies to treat serious cardiovascular, metabolic, and renal diseases as well as cancer. Moderna, founded in 2011, is now worth US $3.5 billion.

Fellow Duane Boning received MIT’s McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising, which is given to a faculty member who has demonstrated a lasting commitment to personal and professional development.

Boning, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, is director of the MIT and Masdar Institute Cooperative Program, an ongoing collaboration between the two institutes—the latter a graduate research university in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The program focuses on alternative energy, sustainability, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Fellow Michael A. Jensen has been named dean of the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology at Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah.

Jensen is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at BYU, where his research focuses on electromagnetics, high-frequency circuit design, and signal processing.

A member of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation and IEEE Communications societies, he is editor in chief of IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation.

Fellow Kenji Uchino received the annual International Ceramics Prize from the World Academy of Ceramics, in Faenza, Italy. The prize is awarded every four years to recognize recent achievements in ceramics science and technology. Uchino is the 20th person to receive the honor.

He was cited for outstanding contributions to piezoelectric ceramics. Piezoelectricity is the process whereby certain solids develop an electric charge in response to applied mechanical stress.

Uchino, a professor of electrical engineering at Pennsylvania State University, State College, is director of the university’s International Center for Actuators and Transducers.

He is a member of the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Society.

Fellow Ricardo Baeza-Yates was named chief technology officer of Ntent, a semantic search and natural language processing company in Carlsbad, Calif. Previously, Baeza-Yates was vice president and chief research scientist at Yahoo in Sunnyvale, Calif.

He is a member of the IEEE Communications and IEEE Computer societies.

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