Achievements: November 2014

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

28 November 2014

IEEE Senior Member Samir Iqbal received a US $480,000 grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation. He and his research team at the University of Texas, Arlington, will use the grant to build a portable device that relies on nanotechnology to test urine for bladder cancer cells.

Cancer detection usually involves drawing blood from a patient or taking a biopsy of the cancerous tissue. The samples are then sent to a lab, and results can take days or even weeks to come back. Iqbal’s device should be able to detect almost instantly as few as two cancer cells in a liter of urine. Cancer patients in remission would also be able to use the device at home to test themselves for reoccurrences. 

Iqbal is an associate professor of electrical engineering at the university. He is also a member of the IEEE Nanotechnology Council.


Member Isabell Thomann received the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Award. The award is presented annually to individuals who “exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of their organizations.” The award comes with a US $400,000 research grant. Thomann is a professor of electrical and computer engineering, chemistry, materials science, and nanoengineering at Rice University, in Houston.

She was recognized for her research on photocatalysis, or the acceleration of a chemical reaction in the presence of a catalyst. She will use the grant to explore ways to optimize solar-powered carbon dioxide conversion systems for power plants.

Thomann is a member of the IEEE Communications and Photonics societies, the IEEE Nanotechnology Council, and IEEE Young Professionals.


Fellow Pramod K. Varshney received an honorary doctorate from Drexel University, in Philadelphia. He was recognized for pioneering work in distributed detection theory and data fusion methods that have furthered wireless multisensor networks for the aerospace industry.

Varshney is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Syracuse University, in New York. He is also director of the university’s Center of Advanced Systems and Engineering.

He is a member of the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Communications, Information Theory, and Signal Processing societies.


The IEEE Photonics Society recognized three of its members with awards.

Fellow Filbert Bartoli received the society’s Distinguished Service Award. He was honored for valuable contributions to the society, particularly in the areas of governance, publications, and conferences.

Bartoli is a professor and chair of the electrical and computer engineering department at Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, Pa. He recently served as the society’s vice president for finance and administration as well as editor in chief of the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics.


The society presented Fellow Gadi Eisenstein with its William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award, given annually to an individual whose work has had significant impact in the field of lasers and electro-optics. Eisenstein was recognized for fundamental contributions to semiconductor lasers and amplifiers.

He is a professor of optoelectronics at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa.


Fellow Yong-Hee Lee received the society’s Engineering Achievement Award. He was cited for “pioneering research on the photonic crystal nanolaser and the proton-implant vertical cavity for the surface-emitting laser.”

Lee is a professor of physics at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, in Daejeon. He is also an adjunct professor in the Optical Sciences Center at the University of Arizona, in Tuscon.

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