Alan Willner, holder of the Steven and Kathryn Sample Chair in Engineering in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association. Election as Fellow is an honor bestowed on members by their peers. Each year the council elects those whose "efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished." Alan is one of four USC faculty to receive this honor (http://uscnews.usc.edu/science_technology/four_usc_ professors_elected_as_aaas_fellows.html). The award will be presented at a ceremony on February 18, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Alan Willner received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University. He has received many honors, most recently election as an International Fellow of the U.K. Royal Academy of Engineering in 2010. Others include: the Presidential White House Faculty Fellow Award; the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship in Science and Engineering; the National Science Foundation National Young Investigator Award; the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) Photonics Society Distinguished Lecturer Award and Engineering Achievement Award; the USC Associates Award for University-Wide Excellence in Teaching, the Optical Society of America (OSA) Leadership Award/New Focus Prize; and the USC Northrop-Grumman Outstanding Junior Engineering Faculty Research Award. He has served on many scientific advisory boards for small companies and advised several venture capital firms. He was Founder and CTO of Phaethon Communications, since acquired by Teraxion.
He is a member of several professional societies, and has served on numerous committees and in many editorial positions. He served as president and vice-president for Technical Affairs of the IEEE Photonics Society, co-chair of the Science and Engineering Council of the OSA, and meeting and program chair for many conferences. The current editor-in-chief of Optics Letters, Alan has also served as editor-in-chief of the IEEE/OSA Journal of Lightwave Technology; editor-in-chief of the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, and associate editor of the IEEE Journal of Selected Areas in Communications Series on Optical Networks, among others.
Alan's research is in optical communications, optical signal processing and networks, fiber optics, and optical technologies, and he has more than 900 publications to his credit.
Alexander (Sandy) Sawchuk, Chair of the Ming Hsieh EE-Systems Department, commented: "Alan Willner has an outstanding record of accomplishments in optical communications, fiber optics and related photonic technologies. Our Ming Hsieh EE faculty join me in celebrating his election as AAAS Fellow and its affirmation of the importance of his research."