Member Recognitions: November 2009

The following members were honored by other organizations

6 November 2009

The Marconi Society awarded IEEE Fellows Andrew R. Chraplyvy and Robert W. Tkach the 2009 Marconi Fellowship and Prize. Research partners at Alcatel–Lucent Bell Labs, Allentown, Pa., for more than 20 years, Chraplyvy and Tkach are being recognized for their work on optical fiber nonlinearities, as well as their development of mitigation techniques that greatly increased the transmission speed and capacity of fiber-optic communications systems.

The Marconi Society at Columbia University strives to identify and support groundbreaking achievements in information technology that have contributed significantly to human progress. Marconi award winners receive a US $100 000 honorarium and a sculpture, and they are called Marconi Fellows.

Chraplyvy and Tkach invented non-zero dispersion fiber, which has been an industry standard since 1993. It enabled the explosive growth in communications bandwidth. Nearly 80.5 million kilometers of the fiber has been installed worldwide.

The pair went on to develop the concept of dispersion management, now used in all high-speed, high-capacity fiber-optic communications systems.

Both men are members of the IEEE Photonics Society, and Tkach belongs to the IEEE Communications Society.


The Royal Society of the United Kingdom has elected IEEE Life Fellow Thomas Kailath as a foreign member. He is one of eight scientists around the world to receive the distinction this year. It recognizes scientists, engineers, and technologists from outside the UK who have had an impact on science policy.

Kailath is professor emeritus of electrical engineering at Stanford University. He has gained worldwide recognition for his work in multiple fields, including information and communication theory; linear systems, estimation, and control; and linear algebra and matrix analysis. He has written several textbooks on linear systems that are widely referenced, and he has mentored more than 100 doctoral and postdoctoral scholars.

Kailath was awarded the 2007 IEEE Medal of Honor for “exceptional development of powerful algorithms in the fields of communications, computing, control, and signal processing.” A member of the IEEE Information Theory Society, he served as its president in 1975. He is also a member of the IEEE Circuits and Systems, Computer, Signal Processing, Control Systems, and Communications societies.


IEEE Fellow Isamu Akasaki received the Inamori Foundation’s 25th annual Kyoto Prize for pioneering work on the development of the blue light-emitting diode. The $500 000 prize is an international award honoring significant contributions to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual benefit of mankind.

Akasaki, a professor emeritus of engineering at Nagoya University, Japan, is professor of semiconductor electronics and a project leader at the High-Tech Research Center for Nitride Semiconductors at Meijo University, Japan. His research during the past few decades on gallium nitride semiconductors led to his development of the blue LED, and his work led to numerous applications for LEDs in electronic equipment.

Akasaki is a member of the IEEE Electron Devices and Photonics societies. He received the 1998 IEEE Jack A. Morton Award for outstanding contributions to the field of Group-III nitride materials and devices, commonly used in bright LEDs.


Member Abigail Lipperman has been named by Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine as one of its 2009 top “40 Under 40” engineers in the United States. The magazine says the list recognizes the best and brightest minds in the engineering industry. Lipperman, 29, was cited for creating innovative systems that solve difficult engineering problems.

She is an electrical engineer for CCRD Partners of Dallas, a mechanical and electrical engineering services company. She was recently the lead electrical engineer on the Texoma Medical Center, a new hospital in Denison, Texas. She is currently doing volunteer work for the Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (ACE) Mentoring Program, which works with Dallas high school students to increase their awareness of career opportunities in architecture, construction, and engineering.


IEEE Senior Member Paul Weiss has been named director of the California NanoSystems Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles. He is leading a team of UCLA scientists who are investigating atomic-scale chemical, physical, optical, mechanical, and electronic properties of surfaces and supramolecular assemblies. Previously, he was a professor of chemistry and physics at Pennsylvania State University in State College.

Weiss is a member of the IEEE Electron Devices Society and was senior editor of its Electron Device Letters from 2005 to 2007.


The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s electrical and computer engineering department has awarded IEEE Member Michael McCorquodale its Young Alumni Achievement recognition. The award is given for outstanding professional contributions in the field of electrical and computer engineering by someone younger than 40.

McCorquodale, 35, is chief technical officer of the semiconductor startup Mobius Microsystems, in Sunnyvale, Calif. He founded the company in 2004 to research precision analog circuits for frequency generation. Mobius is the first company to commercialize high-precision and high-frequency CMOS oscillators used in everyday applications such as USB flash drives, hard disk drives, and digital television.

McCorquodale is a member of the IEEE Solid-State Circuits, Circuits and Systems, Electron Devices, and Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control societies.

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