Fourteen IEEE members were among the 100 researchers to receive the 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. U.S. President Barack Obama named the awardees to recognize “some of the finest scientists and engineers who show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge early in their research careers.”
The awards went to Senior Member Cecilia R. Aragon of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in Berkeley, Calif.; Member David P. Arnold of the University of Florida, Gainesville; Member Seth R. Bank of the University of Texas, Austin; Member Scott A. Craver of Binghamton University, Vestal, N.Y.; Member Joel L. Dawson of MIT; Member Chris L. Dwyer of Duke University, Durham, N.C.; Member Anthony Grbic of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Member Michael J. Hochberg of the University of Washington, Seattle; Member Gregory H. Huff of Texas A&M University, College Station; Member Justin K. Romberg of Georgia Tech; Member Joel A. Tropp of Cal Tech; Member Sharon M. Weiss of Vanderbilt University, Nashville; and Senior Member Patrick J. Wolfe and Member Robert J. Wood, both of Harvard University.
Life Fellow Mark Balas was appointed the J.G. Nicholson Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Wyoming, Laramie. He will lead development at the school’s Wyoming Electric Motor Training and Testing Laboratory.
Balas, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, heads the department. He is a member of the IEEE Control Systems Society and the IEEE Women in Engineering group.
Balas received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1965 from the University of Akron, Ohio, and a master’s in mathematics in 1970 from the University of Maryland, College Park. He earned a master’s and a doctorate in applied mathematics in 1974 from the University of Denver.
The District of Columbia Council of Engineering and Architectural Societies named IEEE Senior Member Haik Biglari its Engineer of the Year. Comprising 36 technical societies including the IEEE Northern Virginia and Washington sections, the council recognized his contributions in control systems design and analysis, electronics hardware and software development, and education.
Biglari is systems design chief and director of electronic systems for Fairchild Controls Corp. of Frederick, Md. The company provides environmental, electronic, and pneumatic control systems for commercial aircraft and military platforms. Biglari is responsible for managing the electronic systems and controls design group, which conducts electrical engineering development, validation and verification, environmental stress screening, and product support activities.
He was specifically recognized for his work on the trajectory optimization performed for NASA’s X-33 single-stage-to-orbit unmanned reusable launch vehicle. He helped find a successful trajectory that minimized fuel consumption.
Biglari has taught engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the University of Maryland
He is a member of the IEEE Computer, Power Electronics, and Control Systems societies. He was the IEEE Washington Section chair in 2006.
Biglari earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering in 1977 from City University of New York, a master’s in electrical engineering in 1981 from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1990 from the University of Alabama.
The Silicon Valley Engineering Council elected IEEE Senior Member Dhaval Brahmbhatt as president. The nonprofit alliance of engineering societies includes a number of IEEE sections and society chapters.
Brahmbhatt is founder, president, and chief executive of Phychip Corp., based in San Jose, Calif. He oversees the company’s efforts in the commercialization of research in emerging technologies. He is experienced in designing, simulating, implementing, testing, and debugging memory, communications, and logic circuits in various IC technologies. He holds 11 U.S. patents, mostly in semiconductors.
He is a member of the IEEE Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology Society. In 2006 he was the IEEE Oakland–East Bay Section treasurer. He founded the IEEE San Francisco Bay Area Nanotechnology Council.
Brahmbhatt received a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics in 1975, and a master’s degree in solid-state electronics in 1977, both from Gujarat University, India. He earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1978 from the University of Cincinnati.
IEEE Fellow Linda Katehi was named chancellor of the University of California at Davis.
Katehi was provost of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 2006. She was the chief academic and budgetary officer for the 41 000-student campus, and she held a joint appointment in the gender and women’s studies program there. A former professor of electrical and computer engineering, she holds 16 U.S. patents.
She is a member of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation and Microwave Theory and Techniques societies.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in 1977 from the Greek National Technical University, Athens, and a master’s degree and doctorate in 1981 and 1984 from the University of California at Los Angeles, all in electrical engineering.
IEEE Fellow David Soldan received the 2009 Meritorious Service Award from the American Society of Engineering Educators’ Electrical and Computer Engineering Division. He was honored for his service to the organization and contributions to electrical and computer engineering.
Soldan, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Kansas State University, in Manhattan, headed that department for 15 years. He has worked in digital signal processing and adaptive filtering, computer networking, digital systems testing, computer systems reliability, manufacturing automation, and wireless communications. He currently has two education research projects funded by the National Science Foundation.
He is a member of the IEEE Computer and Education societies.
Soldan received bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from Kansas State in 1969, 1976, and 1980.
Tau Beta Pi named IEEE Life Senior Member Thomas E. Wade its 2009 McDonald Mentor. The engineering honor society cited him for his “devotion to teaching, mentoring, and outreach, reaching far beyond the classroom.”
Wade is a retired electrical engineering professor. He taught at the University of South Florida, Tampa, for 22 years.
He is a member of the IEEE Electron Devices Society and was the 2007 recipient of the Tau Beta Pi National Outstanding Advisor Award.
Wade received bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Florida, Gainesville, in 1966, 1969, and 1974.
IEEE Life Fellow David Weissman was awarded the Jean Nerken Distinguished Professorship in Engineering at Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y. The honor recognizes him for outstanding teaching, research, and leadership in the engineering sciences.
Weissman has been an engineering professor at Hofstra for more than 40 years. He is involved in radar remote sensing and measurements research for defense and environmental applications.
He is a member of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation, Education, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, and Oceanic Engineering societies.
Weissman earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and electrical engineering in 1960 and a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1961, all from New York University, in New York City. He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1968 from Stanford University.