Life Senior Member Dick Deblasio received the 2011 Finegan Standards Medal from the American National Standards Institute. The annual award recognizes “extraordinary leadership and application of voluntary standards.”
Deblasio was honored for his work on the IEEE 1547 standard series, which dictates best practices for ensuring interconnection of renewable energy technology along the North American power grid. He led a team of volunteers from IEEE and the U.S. Department of Energy that compiled more than 3000 industry specifications into a single unified standard. The first standard in the series was approved in 2003 as an American national standard.
Deblasio is chief research engineer for renewable electricity and end-use systems at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in Golden, Colo.
He is chair of the IEEE P2030 standards group, which is working to incorporate technologies such as electric vehicles and energy storage devices into the smart grid. He is a member of the IEEE Standards Board and chair of its coordinating committee on fuel cells, photovoltaics, distributed power, and energy storage. In 2010 he received the IEEE Charles Proteus Steinmetz Award for “contributions to the standardization and global impact of distributed electric power supply system interconnection technology.”
Member Joseph Kakande received the 2011 Young Scholar Award from the Marconi Society, an organization that honors scientific contributions in the field of communications. He was recognized for his “cutting-edge work to make communications even faster using all-optical fiber cables.”
Kakande is a Ph.D. student at the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton, in England. His research focuses on using nonlinear fiber-optic components to speed up the time it takes to transmit optical signals over long distances.
He received a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering from the University of Hull, in England.
Senior Member Hongrui Jiang received the U.S. National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award. It comes with a US $1.5 million grant to research self-focusing contact lenses with the goal of correcting vision in aging adults.
Jiang is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. His research focuses on bionic lenses for correcting presbyopia, a natural aging process that stiffens the lens of the eye and reduces a person’s ability to focus, especially at short distances. People with the condition usually need eyeglasses or contact lenses for reading. Jiang is working to develop a contact lens that automatically adjusts its focal length—which would ease eyestrain and correct vision in patients who are both nearsighted and farsighted.
He is a member of the IEEE Electron Devices, Engineering in Medicine and Biology, and Photonics societies.
He received a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1995 from Peking University, in Beijing. He went on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering at Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y., in 1999 and 2001.