Achievements: January 2012

The following IEEE members recently were recognized by other organizations and IEEE societies.

27 January 2012

alferness Photo: University of California, Santa Barbara

Fellow Rod C. Alferness was appointed dean of the College of Engineering at the University of California at Santa Barbara.


Previously Alferness was chief scientist at Bell Laboratories, in Murray Hill, N.J., where he oversaw long-term strategy, government and university partnerships, and technical programs. He is a member of the IEEE Photonics Society.



sokal Photo: IEEE

Life Fellow Nathan O. Sokal received an honorary doctorate from the Technical University of Madrid. He was recognized for contributions to the development of the class-E RF power amplifier, which operates at higher efficiency than conventional amplifiers.


Sokal is founder and president of Design Automation, an electronic equipment and systems manufacturer in Lexington, Mass., where he developed the amplifier. He is a member of the IEEE Industry Applications, Power Electronics, and Microwave Theory and Techniques societies.



Three IEEE members received the 2011 National Medal of Technology and Innovation—the highest honor for technological achievement bestowed by the president of the United States. The award, given by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Patent and Trademark Office, recognizes people who have made “lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen the nation’s technological workforce.”


agrawal Photo: Purdue University

Member Rakesh Agrawal was recognized for an “extraordinary record of innovations in improving the energy efficiency and reducing the cost of gas liquefaction and separation.”


Agrawal is a professor of chemical engineering at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Ind. Until 2003 he was a research fellow at Air Products and Chemicals, a company in Allentown, Pa., that supplies atmospheric gases and chemical intermediates. His gas liquefaction processes are now used in more than 100 of the company’s industrial plants. His research interests include solar and coal energy, as well as cryogenics and gas liquefaction. He is a member of the IEEE Photonics and Electron Devices societies.



baliga Photo: North Carolina State University

Fellow B. Jayant Baliga was honored for the “development and commercialization of the insulated gate bipolar transistor and other power semiconductor devices that are extensively used in transportation, lighting, medicine, defense, and renewable energy generation systems.”


Baliga is director of the Power Semiconductor Research Center at North Carolina State University, in Raleigh. He led the development of the IGBT in the early 1980s while a researcher at General Electric’s Research and Development Center in Schenectady, N.Y. He is a member of the IEEE Electron Devices Society.



tompsett Photo: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Life Fellow Michael F. Tompsett was recognized for “pioneering work in materials and electronic technologies, including the design and development of the first charge-coupled device (CCD) imagers used extensively in digital imaging.”


Tompsett is founder and president of TheraManager, a medical billing software company in Murray Hill, N.J. He led the development of the CCD imager in the early 1970s while an engineer at Bell Laboratories, also in Murray Hill. He is a member of the IEEE Electron Devices Society.


The IEEE Photonics Society presented awards to its following members:


donati Photo: University of Pavia

IEEE Life Fellow Silvano Donati received the society’s Distinguished Service Award. He was recognized for “continuous wide-ranging contributions to the activity of the society and for founding and developing the Italy Chapter.”


Donati is a professor of optoelectronics at the University of Pavia, Italy, where he primarily works on electro-optical instrumentation. He founded the society’s Italy Chapter in 1996 and was its chair until 2001. He was chair of the IEEE Italy Section in 2008 and 2009.



willner Photo: University of Southern California

The society presented IEEE Fellow Alan Willner with its Engineering Achievement Award. He was recognized for “technical advances in the field of optical fiber communications technologies that have enabled significant improvements in the performance and reliability of wavelength-division-multiplexed systems.”


Willner is a professor of engineering at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. His research interests include optical communications, optical signal processing and networks, and fiber optics.


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